Ryan Custer Amacher is not a baby boomer — he missed the cut by 52 days.
Amacher was born and then starting Jan. 1, 1946 — the first date of the baby boomer generation — “They started breeding like crazy,” Amacher says with a laugh.
Amacher, who lives in Lake Shore with his wife, Susan, said even though he is not a baby boomer, he is dealing with all the issues a baby boomer will, just earlier. Amacher’s experience triggered him to write a book. About three years ago he began writing and his book “A Baby Boomer’s Guide to Their Second Sixties,” came out this year.
Amacher said his book was written for male baby boomers and their significant others. It also includes baby boomer history and what lies ahead as “we experience the decade of our own 60s,” said Amacher.
According to the’s book summary: “The story reviews our boomer luck, recounts the great history of being a kid in the 1950s, and the great opportunities provided by improved education in the 1960s, not to ignore a seemingly mind expanding culture. Turning 60 is not for the faint hearted. There are issues ahead. The first thing we all face is taking care of aging parents or what the author refers to as helping your parents check out. Then there are our own boomer health issues including cataracts and prostate cancer. You likely think there is nothing funny about these topics but the quirky economist author finds humor in all of our aging experiences. This book covers boomer issues, all in the context of our boomer culture. We boomers thought we would be young forever. Maybe that is why it is so amusing ... In this book, the author chronicles the good luck of the first 60 years of the Boomer experience and guides Boomers into the humorous, but sobering experience of their personal 60s.”
This is the first book Amacher has ever written and it’s received good reviews. Before the book, Amacher wrote articles relating to economics. Amacher, who said he sees himself as a Chicago-style economist, has a bachelor’s degree from Ripon College and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. He has been a professor at the University of Oklahoma, Economics Department chair at Arizona State, Business Dean at Clemson University and president of the University of Texas at Arlington where he is now a professor of economics. He has worked at the Pentagon, writing a market plan for the All-Volunteer Army, the Federal Trade Commission as a consultant and the US Treasury, on the Law of The Sea negotiations.
Amacher said the idea of writing the book came about when he had prostate cancer. Amacher said men, especially baby boomers, don’t talk about prostate cancer, or any health issue for that matter. Amacher said the older male generation was taught to not talk about medical and social issues and to keep things to themselves.
“This is something that we should talk about,” Amacher said about health issues. “And I’m going to write a book about it.
“My wife had some people over and women talk about everything.”
Amacher said one of his wife’s friends knew some publishers, so he wrote down some things about his book and sent out about 70 query letters to different publishers and publishers of men’s health magazines.
“A few agents were interested ... and this one publisher wrote me and called me because he was interested,” said Amacher. “He told me that I have the quirkiest sense of humor. He told me it needs a lot of work, but he’d edit it.
“I always like writing and I worked hard and enjoyed it. It’s a hobby. When Susan is off on her horses or doing what she loves to do, I go upstairs to my office and write. I’m not much into sporting activities.”
Amacher said his wife and a neighbor were his best critics in helping him write his book, that was published by Sunstone Press Publishing in Santa Fe, Mexico. He said he’d write something and then have them look at it to see if it was humorous, or if it needed work.
“I like to laugh,” said Amacher. “I do have a quirky sense of humor and I’ve had people who have read my book say that they enjoyed it and it also made them laugh ... It’s rewarding.”
Amacher said yes the health issues men face are serious, but “it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “It can be made funny.”
Amacher said he had a wonderful day when a man, who was just diagnosed with prostate cancer, came up to him and told him that he read his book and it made him feel better and less depressed.
Amacher said the baby boomers are lucky because they lived during the “Golden Age” of all American generations. He said there were so many opportunities and changes in the world that the boomers were lucky enough to embrace. Amacher said the baby boomers got to see the effects of polio and other diseases and how a cure was found. They also got to see many changes in education and the political aspect of how the world revolved.
In Amacher’s book he said polio was the first concern for parents of baby boomers and the second concern was communism, which led to the Cold War. He also discusses the history of what news events occurred when the baby boomers were born to present, which include political, health, education and environmental issues.
Toward the end of Amacher’s book he lists the people — who are alive or dead — who he would like to have a martini with. The people he would like to have a martini with include Dwight D. Eisenhower, the first president he remembers; Margaret Thatcher; Ronald Reagan; and Ringo Star, for saying “Everything government touches turns to crap.”
Currently, Amacher is working on an economics project. However, he said he is working on a sequel to his first book but he is “Not sure where it will go.”