A Life of Reruns
A local Blogger claimed I didn’t have wisdom as one doesn’t necessarily become wise by getting older. I have to agree with him although experiencing The Depression, Prohibition; Presidents from Coolidge to Obama, many economic crises, and numerous wars, etc are still etched in my mind. Wisdom not only comes from experiences, but many other factors such as your economic class and philosophy of your parents who shape heir children’s philosophy for life.
I’m not sure if I’ve acquired wisdom yet but am about to experience my 90th birthday so have now reached the age where statistically I my not live long enough to complete this article. I haven’t reached this age from a certain style of living, but from genetics. I. attribute my religion and political philosophies to my parents.
My wife and I are the two remaining volunteers that created the Telecare program in the Lutheran Church in Nevada City in the late 70s or early 80s. A nice woman, Dorothy, acquired a grant from the county to buy a station wagon and its maintenance. It would require another long article to describe the services we rendered for the elderly. Many of these services are still carried out by Telecare.
When reaching the age when not feeling confident in my driving kidney Dialysis to Sacramento I spent 8 years visiting nursing homes, Hospice and Alzheimer patients with my therapy dog Molly and visited the elderly in different stages of aging. Many were still curious and interested in life, but there were many I felt would be better off dying. I feel that modern medicine and relatives that keep these humans alive for some reasons are being inhumane.
My visits to most patients was appreciated and an enjoyment for Molly and me. This experience with the elderly was also educational as they came from different backgrounds and gave me knowledge from experiences I hadn’t had. I visited a 100 year old woman who had been a scientist and folded parachutes during WW1. Her goal was to live until the year 2000, which she did. She was blind so put a towel next to her and had Molly lay next to her so she could pet her.
At the age 80 my stamina had reached a point where walking the halls of the home became very exhausting and Molly was feeling her age too, so limited my visits to visiting Gil Masters a 94 year old man who loved Molly and was extremely interesting. He was a writer and we exchanged things we had written and he told me stories of WW1 and the depression I wasn’t aware of.
He died when we were on vacation and I felt lost without our visits. His daughter collected his writings and bound them in a book called Gullible Travels about his days riding the rails looking for work during the depression. I would like to share one bit of trivia from the war most people aren’t aware of. I asked him about things citizens contributed during the war and learned that children brought peach pits to school they dried out and removed the centers that were used in making gas masks.
This isn’t the subject I planned to write about, but got sidetracked and carried away so will write about the many reruns one encounters in a lifetime later. I started to write this with the eraser end of a pencil as will be 90 on May 1st and; in my fingers limits my typing.
I have found there’s an awful lot of knowledge people can get from asking the questions about the past from the elderly. I often wonder why history teachers don’t use people from the era when they are studying American history.
“Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. Wars are no longer waged by the will of superior men, capable of judging dispassionately and intelligently the causes behind them and the effects flowing out of them. The are now begun by first throwing a mob into a panic; they are ended only when it has spent its ferine fury.”