I Am the Very Model of a Modern 95-Year-Old

Shannon Barr
2 min readNov 24, 2021


(For Kenneth C. Barr, with apologies to W.S. Gilbert)

October 2019. The very model.

I am the very model of a modern 95-year-old

I’ve wit and wisdom, twinkling eyes, good humor, and a heart of gold

You’ll see me in my trim red cashmere sweater and my dapper cap

And think, “Say, who’s that debonair and dashing geriatric chap?”

It’s true that I don’t see or hear or golf as well as once I could

But join me for a lively conversation and I’m just as good

My mast’ry of the literary sphere is quite applaudable

With reading habits hungrier than ever, thanks to Audible

And lest you think me snobbish, I assure you I’ve an appetite

For TV anti-heroes like Soprano and that Walter White

Indeed, with all my qualities of vim and vigor manifold

I am the very model of a modern 95-year-old!

In traveling the world, I guess you’d say I’ve been a lucky ‘un

I’ve seen more foreign countries than your av-erage Kentuckian

From Renaissance cathedrals to those ancient shores Greek mythical

Beginning with my Army tour of islands South Pacifical

My youth I spent exploring all the wonders of Chicagoland

I wound up with a law degree, a redhead, and a wedding band

We built a life and made a home and put eight kids through colleges

(I daresay that’s precisely what the point of worldly knowledge is)

It seems that as a patriarch my destiny was manifest

To be not just a father but the absolute Grand-daddyest

A steady temper steered me well through life’s adventures, I’ve been told

For I’m the very model of a modern 95-year-old!

I never had much taste for all the stuff in life sensational

My modesty’s in part what makes me Greatest Generational

Yet hindsight shows me clear, despite degeneration macular

A picture of the life I’ve lived that’s really quite spectacular

These days I must confess that my idea of Fields Elys-i-an

Is reading The New Yorker at a nice café Paris-i-an

I’ll share my corner table with the woman I loved best of all

And order jambon-beurre without a care for my cholesterol

In wildest dreams, who would have thought this poor son of a dairyman

Would grow into a Southern gent and prime nonagenarian

We must conclude, the Maker when He made me simply broke the mold —

He’d built the very model of a modern 95-year-old!



Shannon Barr

Freelance writer & editor. Marketing & communications specialist. Magazine publishing veteran.