I really liked your article “the second half of your life” and it reminded me of me. I’m not a baby boomer, I’m much older than that — I’m a depression baby. But the story is similar.

I spent most of my career as a plant manager for smaller companies/divisions (40 to 250 employees).

As with many small companies is the midwest and northwest, the plant manager also became the safety manager. And I embraced that. It wanted to keep the employees safe and healthy so they came to work every day and went home with all their body parts and if I did that, quality would exceed the customers expectations — we would have on time delivery — every time — we would meet production goals — costs would be controlled and I would be a hero.

So the 2nd and 3rd part of my life — at age 65 the global company I was with started a search for a corporate DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT. They went through the normal channels trying to find the right person. One day one of the vice presidents said in a board meeting, “how about that plant manager at the BOISE operation — he has been doing the safety thing at that plant for 20 years.”

I got a call — I ended up at the company headquarters for a day of interviews — got the job — spent the next 5 years as the director traveling to 7 plants in the U.S on in CANADA and one in MEXICO.

I did all the training, prepared all the written programs. basically GOT R DUN.”

Finally the company had a safety program — accidents went down, workers’comp costs went down, all the numbers were improving.

At age 72, it seems right to retire and move back to my roots (NEBRASKA) so I announced my retirement. There was a big party, lots of gifts, lots of nice things said about me. Then I packed up and left.

I retired for 12 hours and did not like it. An opportunity came my way to be the safety officer for a small bean seed processing operations with two plants. I’m working 20-30 hours a week as a consultant kind of guy. And I am loving it.

The company had no safety program so this is a bottom-up kind of situation ( never got to NEBRASKA). Of course what I’m trying to do is help create a safe, healthful culture for today and tomorrow.

Soooo no matter if you are a baby boomer or a depression baby, if you still have a fire in your belly, then you are not finished. You are only as old as you think you are. I’m 37, in the dark, and I still have mountains to climb.