Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Fewer

Item 7: (Cont. from March).I am at the surgical clinic being asked the usual pre-surgical questions by the nurse and her last question is,“John, are you being abused at home?” I give her a strange look and she continues,”I have to ask you that.” I replied with a terse, “No.”

A couple of days later at dinner I mention this to Sheila.I ask her, “Why would the nurse ask me that?” Sheila sets down her iced tea and says, “They are looking for signs of elder abuse.” I stare at Sheila in disbelief and respond, “That’s for old people!” Sheila gave me a sweet smile and replied, “Brooks how old will you be in June?” I meekly reply, “66.” Oh well.

Had I know that when I was talking to the nurse I might have taken some action.I would have taken off my bifocals and let the nurse see my unlined almost 66 year old face, I might have tapped her gently with my cane, and then getting her full attention I would have taken out my orthopedic insoles and defiantly dangle them in front of her while gently placing two capsules of Geritol that I keep in my back pocket in her hand as a small token of my appreciation.

All I can say is that I am an avid believer that sixty-six years of age can and should be the new thirty-six. If any of you athletic, good looking, energetic Baby Boomers feel the same way as I do now is the time to show it. Throw open your windows, and together we will shout out to the world and let them know that we are not going to take it any more by reciting the AARP motto. I will lead you. Shoot, I forgot the words.

Item 1: Police Blotter: Turlock Police were called to a day care center where a three-year old was resisting a rest.... For you food lovers: A boiled egg is hard to beat... OK that is enough. Well, just one more. Pogo wanted me to do this in his memory. He tells the story about the crook who was chased around the church and was finally caught by the organ. Ouch.

Item 2: Video alert.I recently enjoyed viewing two outstanding documentaries from Netflix. “Pressure Cooker” is an engaging look at a dedicated high school teacher in Philadelphia. She teaches a culinary class that offers the students an opportunity to compete for full blown scholarships via cooking competitions. Many students are fortunate to become chefs. If you think our education system is a bust watch this and you’ll realize there are teachers out there who care deeply about their students and can instill confidence and values in them while teaching them valuable life’s lessons.

“A Band called Death” is about three African American brothers who in 1970 created what is now being hailed as the first punk rock group. Forty years years later the band has received a very belated national acclaim.This is an interesting look at how fate and faith can alter the lives of three brothers who just want to play some rock and roll. I give both movies 4 Bass Strings.

Item 3: Bands I have been fortunate to make music with.
The Pogo Highlanders (Highland School 1958) Heartland String Band,
Mojo Klarke, The Ramblin’ Phudds, Grass Menagerie, Fog Valley Drifters, Goats 4 Sale, Brothers Merkin and Sister Kate, Shattered Shamrock, Doctors Orders, Hick Symphonium, Judd Mountain Boys, and The Well Strung String Band.

Item 4: I’ve just finished reading a short biography about Hank Williams, “Lovesick Blues” by Paul Hemphill.
I was never a big fan of Hank Williams but on an impulse I checked out the book at our local library. I had no idea what the man accomplished or what an extraordinary talent he was.

What little I knew about Hank was that he appeared to be a Jimmie Rodgers wannabe.I had listened briefly to a couple of his songs in the past and I thought he was just a skinny, jug eared, dust bowl Okie, trying to make a mark in the music world.How wrong can one person be?

Hank recorded 61 songs, 50 that he wrote by himself, and remarkably he sold over 10 million records in a brief 5 year span.I am looking forward to spending some quality time listening to his music and reading more about this troubled, talented man who died so young.

A brief side note. John Lennon had to endure a self absorbed Yoko Ono blaring out atonal utterances under the guise of singing while standing next to an understanding Mr. Lennon while performing on stage.The great Hank Williams had his own Yoko Ono,wife Audrey, a totally tone deaf pushy spouse insisting she sing with Hank on the same stage. Check YouTube and listen to her off key attempts at singing.

Item 5: Because it is there. One hundred and ninety years go an ailing, deaf Beethoven debuted and conducted his masterpiece, the 9th Symphony/Ode to Joy. Has there ever been a more emotional musical tapestry than this masterpiece? Our world is a better place because of it.

Until June: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a bar of chocolate and in the words of the late great Warren Zevon, “Enjoy every sandwich.”
Posted:  5/2/2014

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