Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

Item 1: I was home relaxing after my wonderful trip to Cooperstown and seeing the Hall of Fame activities my sister Maria Nadauld (Above the Bay Booking) graciously presented to me for my 65th birthday. I went outside to mow the front lawn when Bob, our next door neighbor, said hello and began telling me about an unfortunate incident involving our other neighbor’s little black and white Pekinese, Oreo.

Bob was in his garage giving his lawn mower its yearly cleaning. He had taken a few of the movable parts and put them in a dish of gasoline to soak. The garage door was open. Bob then went into his house for a few minutes and came out to see our neighbor’s small dog, Oreo, lapping up the gasoline. Bob yelled at the dog and the little fellow shot off down the street. Bob lit out after him with hopes of catching up with the little guy with hopes of saving him.

At this part of the story Bob stopped, his eyes glistened over and he just stared at the ground. He looked up and continued, “Then little Oreo just stopped and keeled over.” I was afraid to ask Bob what happened next but I had to. “Bob, little Oreo didn’t die did he?” Bob slowly raised his head up and looked at me for a long time. A sense of dread came over me as Bob continued to stare.“Well, what happened? Did little Oreo die?” Bob grinned and said, “Nope, he just ran out of gas.”

Item 2: A couple of months ago a 70+ year old man climbs Mt. Everest. Now the remarkable 64 year young Diana Nyad swims 105 miles from Cuba to Florida. She swims (without a shark tank) in shark and jelly fish infested waters for over 50 hours. Senior citizens like her certainly make it hard for the rest of us. Diana says her next little sports activity will be engaging in a 48 hour swim-a-thon in your basic old fashioned swimming pool in the Big Apple for a charity event.

I had been quite pleased with myself after finishing my daily 4 mile walk. I enjoy a steaming hot shower, rest my weary bones, and convince myself I deserve the rest of the day off for relaxation. How can I do that now? Diana, you make it hard for the rest of us.

Item 3: The ageless Paul McCartney at 71 just got through playing a festival in San Francisco. Reporters talking to him mentioned that Candlestick Park was to be torn down. Paul stated he wouldn’t mind playing there as his own fond farewell farewell to the grand structure.

I should point out that at the tender age of 18 I was one of the 20,000+ who sat in the freezing August San Francisco summer weather and watched the Beatles play a not so grand 28 minute set. It would be their last appearance together in American as the Beatles.(There are probably over a million folks who “claim” they were at Candlestick that night.) I should point out that their performance was nowhere near the electric emotionally charged set they did at at the Cow Palace in August of 1965 which I also had the pleasure to see.

Good luck Paul. We would love to have to have you come one more time and grace us with your presence.

Speaking of old timers. Sheila and I will be in our comfortable seats watching the wonderful Gordon Lightfoot in a couple of weeks at the Gallo Theater. Not content with seeing just one AARP member/performer, we will also be seeing the tuneful Three Dog Night soon followed by soulful Bill Medley in a couple of months. All senior citizens, baby boomers and STILL making great music.

Item 4: Miley Cyrus: It appears more people are concerned about her and her televised debacle than what is happening in Syria. Go figure. I wonder if folks will remember Ms. Cyrus 50 years from now. I doubt it.

Item 5: Getting old and older.... Went to the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago for my two year eye check up. My doctor is an extremely affable fellow, ex-mayor of Turlock. We share a Portuguese heritage and always have a pleasant conversation during my visits. I usually walk out of his office feeling quite full of myself with the knowledge that my eyes are in quite good health. Not this time.

Dr. Andre was concerned that tests in my left eye showed problems with the optic nerve and felt it best if I visit a specialist. I did and have been informed I have glaucoma. Further tests show that the vision I have lost will not be regained but with the use of eyedrops further damage may be halted.The perils of aging continue.

Item 6: The Rim Fire: Thank God for the firefighters and those individuals who put their lives on the line daily. This huge fire has created a massive loss and my heart goes out to all those who have suffered.
I did see something on the news a couple of days back that troubled me. A very thankful woman was talking to a news reporter about how her home survived the fire. The fire had somehow jumped over her own home leaving it untouched while her neighbors homes were eaten up by the blaze. The news reporter, seeing an opening, asked the $64 question,”Just how do you explain this miracle? You’re home is untouched amid this raging inferno and your neighbors homes incinerated?” The lady teared up and said, “It was God. He protected my home.”

I see nothing wrong with this, but if I am the neighbor what am I to think? Does God not want to protect my house? It’s akin to the ballplayer who hits the game winning grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth. As he makes the turn at third base he looks up to the sky and blows a kiss to the great creator giving thanks that his team has won the World Series. Was God betting on the National League?

Item 7: I apologize for the lack of substance in today’s Welcome Column.I have been fighting bronchitis the past nine days and my mind is a bit disjointed. (I asked Rick for a pass this month, and though he was sympathetic he asked me to get out my Welcome Column contract I had signed several years ago. He patiently instructed me to find paragraph 3, which I did, he then guided me to find clause D, which I did and then he asked me to read both back to him, which I did. I asked him, “Well?” And he replied, ”Write the column.” Which I did. Wait there is more......

Item 8:The days pass by slowly as even the smallest chores seem undoable. It is funny how you can be tooling around for a few months busy and carefree with your normal routine feeling quite cocky at how healthy and fit you are. One morning you wake up with, fever, chills, a hard time breathing and tying your shoelaces is a chore. Nothing is taken for granted more than our health. Lose it for a couple of days and nothing seems as precious.

Until October: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a bar of chocolate and sing in the shower...with the water off. Go ahead…you earned it!

Posted:  9/6/2013

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