See, last week, my Grandpa Bob turned 79 and he celebrated by going sky-diving. Grandpa Bob's a strong guy. He may not look it -- he's kinda small and unassuming-looking -- but by gum is he strong. He volunteers in an administrative fashion for his local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and regularly goes out to help at the worksites. He loves golf and can still do 18 holes in the morning before I'm even fully awake (he does have his odd quirks, like refusing mulligans and keeping a community Swear Jar around to prevent impolite language -- though he'll trash-talk you into the ground. But politely.) He ran track in high school and college, and just happened to be back in Springfield College the day, 40 years after the fact, that one of his long-standing track records was broken. (He said he really enjoyed walking up to the young man who'd just beaten his record and shaking his hand. Apparently the look on the kid's face was priceless.)
Anyway, last week Grandpa Bob did a tandem (tethered to the guide) sky-dive for his birthday, and while I didn't get from Mom exactly how high up he was, the fact remains that this man at one point asked himself "Say, what do I want to do for my 79th birthday?" and came up with the answer "I want to jump out of an airplane." And so he went out and did it. That's my Grandpa.
The fact that some grandstanding former president who's a year older than my grandpa decided to do it, too, and get all the press for it, diminishes not Grandpa Bob's accomplishments. I think my Grandpa's a far better person, too. I mean, he is my namesake and all.