Happy 50th birthday to Terry Teachout! I have a few of those things in common to you - first Presidential election in which I voted, seeing Star Wars when it was new (I met an important person in my life while standing in line to see The Empire Strikes Back the day it opened in Boston!), and what I learned to type on. Well, it was a typewriter, anyway.
(But my inner copy editor is wondering how "The fourth decade of my life, after all, wasn’t exactly an unbroken string of disasters", apparently referring to Terry's 40s, got past his inner copy editor. Alas, our 40s are the fifth decade of our lives.)