In the liquor store the other day, guy next to me checking out. He’s visiting with his clerk, a young woman. He makes a reference to Jack Benny.

 

“Who’s Jack Benny,” she asks.

 

He and I exchange a look.

 

Why should she know? She’s in her 20s. Mr. Benny died in 1974.

 

I’m at a Lund’s checkout counter this morning. Waiting my turn, I scan the gossip magazines on the rack next to me. Weddings, babies, break-ups, I don’t know any of the people shown on those shout-out covers.

 

It’s my who’s-Jack-Benny moment.

 

There is a particular comfort in birding. If you know the names, we know the same names. The birds look to you as they look to me.

 

There are no generational gaps in birding.

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