Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less (May God Bless and Keep Suzanne Denison)

Item 1. Thought for the day: “Very often the encyclopedist finds odd relevant octuplicates buried after many ages.”

Item 2: Fall has arrived bringing with it wind, darkened skies, downed tree branches and a layer of dust on everything visible and invisible. The leaves change color, and then fall silently upon our swimming pool whose use for the next eight months will be as a leaf, dirt and dust collector. At 5 A.M. I go outside to get the Modesto Bee and SF Chronicle. The morning chill friendly embraces my “When I’m 64” year young body reminding me that the joy of waking up each morning, no matter how sore this shell has become, is a victory.

If both of the soon to become extinct news papers are resting quietly on my driveway secure in their clear plastic covering patiently waiting to be picked up and read quietly over coffee and a bagel it is indeed going to be a much better day.

Item 3: Turlock is a wonderful little place and I do love it. Our little family-run businesses have some quaint names. An electrical business offers to, “Let us check your shorts!” while a barber shop’s neon sign pulsates proudly, “It’ll Grow Back” and not to be outdone one of our many churches has recently placed a huge sign on a newly planted lawn stating, “We have better Sunday’s than Baskin Robbins.”

Item 4: I read somewhere that two doctors, a psychologist and a proctologist opened up an office and their sign boldly read, “Doctors of Odds and Ends.”
There is a billboard on Highway 99 for a business that reads, “We don’t want all the business, We just want yours!” On the same highway reads a sign for the tired motorist, “If you lived here you would be home by now.”

Item 5: My dear friend Bill Cross paid a visit last Saturday. His parents owned a dry cleaning business in San Leandro. Their motto was, “If your clothes are not becoming to you, they should be coming to us.” Bill worked for his parents in high school and on Saturdays I would accompany Bill as he made the rounds in his white Chevy Van to pick up the dry cleaning from various businesses in San Leandro, Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Union City, etc.

Bill would crank up the radio and we would sing along to the Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Beatles and Righteous Brothers, Them, and the Animals as we drove through the streets of the city. When the music stopped we would continue talking a mile a minute, about everything and nothing and just having a great time. After all the required pick-ups had been made we would make our way back to the dry cleaners, Bill and I would unload the mountain of clothes into a huge hamper, wheel the hamper into the back of the store and then begin the task of separating the clothes into specific hampers. It was called work but doing it together we called it fun. Youth was not wasted on the two of us.

Bill and I drove around the streets of Turlock, chatted, listened to the radio and found a restaurant that had about five TV’s broadcasting all of the college football games. We sat down ate, chatted, and it dawned on me that Bill and I had been sharing meals together since our years at Hayward High 1964. We would begin each morning at ¼ Burger with coffee and a coke before going to school and it seemed almost every Friday night ended there.

Friendship is such a special, wonderful, unique part of life. I cannot understand why I didn’t spend more time cultivating those that I had. I was always envious of folks who found it easy to get along with folks and develop special friendships. I did not find it easy (not complaining) but I was comfortable having Bill and a guy named Rick as a best friend.

Bill and I are making a point now to get together at least once a month or so (with the third member of our high school trinity, Gordy) and visit our old eating place that just re-opened in Hayward, ¼ pound Burger on Mission Blvd., our home away from home.

Item 6: I visited my grandson in Woodland last week and he wanted to play bowling on his Wii game. My grandson will be four in January and like a good grandpa I would take it easy on him as we began to bowl. After doing my best to make even one spare my grandson took me to the cleaners by a score or 182-75.

I tried bravely to smile. Being out bowled by a four year old, well….. My grandson being as observant as only a caring four year old can be especially when it came to understanding and feeling his “Grumpy’s” emotions walked over to me, softly put his hand on my shoulder, looked me squarely in the eye and said in his most caring voice, ‘It’s O.K. Grumpy. The first time I played I didn’t win either. You’ll get better.” God do I love that boy.

Item 7: Well it is election time and since this column is apolitical I’m not at liberty to share my own views with the CBA. However, I think it is OK to opine on the current upcoming election without being political. Before making an informed decision, read all you can, listen to all you can, try to separate the wheat from the chaff, listen to both sides at least twice, then three times, and then redo the steps again. This election is too important to base your vote on what station X or station Y is bleating out. Voting is our right as Americans, our duty, and we should step into that booth next Tuesday informed, armed with facts, reason, and sanity.

Item 8: Good news not so good news. I visited my orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Konkin to find out about the pain in my back, leg, hip and knee. After X-rays were taken Dr. Konkin confirmed that both my knees need replacing. I asked him when and he replied when I felt the time is right. My back and hip pain may be coming from an arthritic left hip. The X-rays showed there is still cartilage in the hip so no hip replacement will be necessary. That is good news.

On Halloween I get my own special “treat.” I will have a steroidal hip injection, a procedure that requires the patient to be lying on his back and then have a rather long narrow needle inserted into my lower extremities directly into the hip joint directed by the technician using an x-ray machine of some type as a guide to make sure the technician doesn’t inject the hopefully pure steroids into the groin area which could prove costly. That would be the bad news.

Until December: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a chocolate bar, have lunch with an old friend and enjoy the chill of the morning autumn air.

P.S. Did I fail to mention the SF Giants are the WORLD CHAMPIONS? Again……()

Posted:  11/2/2012

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