"I'M TOO OLD TO BE HUMBLE," Marilyn Maye averred recently in an interview before appearing in a New York nightclub and I know exactly how she feels. When you reach a certain age you can ignore people who try to criticize you or put you in a bad light because they are just, basically, jealous .

In my 40s I learned a very important lesson and that was to discard all negative people in my life and I have kept to that rule. Negative people have negative vibes that can invade a person and have them choose to be mad, sad and down. At 78 I certainly don't have time for those kind of people in my life except, maybe, to expose them for who they are.

For most of my life I have paid my own way and even during the previous decade when things have not been too good for me financially I have done all right with the help of friends. I'd admit, have admitted, that I never got that money gene from my parents--seems my brother got it all--but I have lived a life very few people have. I've traveled to Australia, New Zealand, Argentinia, Brazil, Tahiti, Venezuela, Mexico, Vancouver, Canada, 49 of the 50 States just to name a few places, lived in Miami Beach, Hollywood, California, Memphis, Fort Lauderdale, Laguna Beach and known some of the 'rich and famous' but mostly the poor and unknown who I am proud to call my friends.

At 78 I have accomplished a lot, including being independant, having a roof over my head, food in my stomach, overcoming 60+ years of smoking, recovered from congestive heart failure and an aorta valve replacement operation and, not to forget, learning how to work a computer and the basics of the Internet when I was in my 60s. I have had books published, had articles in papers, magazines, wrote a weekly column for over a year plus a dining out monthly feature, was Director Of Operations for a world famous organization, had my own business, was a professional server for 30+ years and proud of it. And just 3 years ago I got the dream job of writing Internet reviews for touring Broadway shows which I couldn't afford otherwise!

Most of all, because of my friends, the ONLY reason I have to be humble is them. I have NOTHING to lose at 78 except my friends so it is that I wish all, even my enemies, the life I have, the friends I have, the joy I face every day with. I hope that negative people could stop being so bitter, jealous, selfish and instead of hitting out at people look into themselves for what good there is and, maybe, just maybe, they will have half the good life I had and have and can also feel the right to say, "I'm too old to be humble," and, "At 78 what have I got to lose?" because they earned it as Marilyn Maye and I have.