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Friday, November 12, 2010

Howard Moscoe, prototype of new septaguinarians

By David Ryder and Paul Moloney, Toronto Star, November 12, 2010
(The story is about the future of retired Toronto City Councillors. This one is about Howard Moscoe Ward 15)

I’m 71 and I have applied to Osgoode Hall Law School. Who doesn’t want a 75-year-old lawyer? I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since I was 12. Maybe it was watching Perry Mason. I’ve spent the past 31 years making laws — I figure it’s time to find out what I was doing wrong. I’m scheduled to write the LSAT on Feb. 12. I’ve got some other things, four or five offers. Two are developers and the others are government relations. That would be consulting. The alternative would be sitting at home arguing with my wife about where to hang pictures. That’s not my style.
There is something about our (my) generation that continues to defy both logic and convention. We stamped our feet about the futility of the VietNam war; we watched in horror as North American built bomb shelters in case of a nuclear attack (from Russia) in the middle of the cold war; we made Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco a household word along with the Momma's and the Pappa's, the Beatles, the three martyrs of the 60's (John and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King); we either celebrated as spectators or marched in solidarity in Selma, Alabama, and then cheered when Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Bill in 1964;
we took up John Kennedy's challenge to put a man on the moon within the decade and did; we celebrated both the political archetype and that musical that was Camelot, mostly in our preferred innocence; we happily brought Pierre Trudeau to Ottawa and celebrated with Bobby Gimby's "Ca-na-da" song at the country's centennial in 1967; we suffered through the intervention of the digital age, first with some resistance and then with fairly complete acceptance and facility, at least without formal training; we moved from prime rib for our palate to cuscous and lentils as our children nudged us ever so gently along toward enhanced health; we fixed our broken teeth, struck by a stray puck in the corner of our local rink, and then agreed to implants when two or three other teeth rotted from lack of disciplined cleaning; we said goodbye to home towns, high school sweethearts, and went off to university in the first generation in our families afforded such opportunity; and  we have collectively, without any particular design or motive, turned our sixties and seventies to something closer to what might have been perceived previously as forties or fifties...
And just look at Howard Moscoe, the incipient law student at 71, following three decades as a Toronto City councillor who has held the dream of being a lawyer since he was 12.
"Go for it, Howard!" we cheer you on, in our own pursuit of our childhood dreams.
You are indeed an inspiration, and you will knock your profs' socks off with your intimate knowledge of the law from your years in office. And your future clients will be served as no others have been!

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