Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Fewer

“I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s, and his hair was PERFECT!”*

Item 1: A few weeks ago Sheila and I were invited by some old friends for a friendly retirement dinner given in Sheila’s honor. As usual Sheila was a bit reluctant to go due to her being the focus of attention but we went and had an enjoyable dinner with our friends Kirk,Mary,Dan and Sandy. They were our first friends we met when we moved to Turlock in May 1980 and we still cherish their friendship.

At dinner I made a small non-noteworthy passing remark that I would like to be the proud owner of an electric bass guitar. For those who are readers of the welcome column you might remember I wrote about the famous White Fender bass I fell in love with back in 1966. (The bass belonged to my next door neighbor George Tingley. At his mother’s funeral, (My Auntie Frances) a few weeks back I learned that his beautiful white Fender bass had been stolen many years ago.

A couple of days ago the doorbell rang and I went to see who it was. There on our doorstep was a rather tall box delivered by the friendly UPS folks. I carried it in and Sheila deadpanned, “What could that be?” I smiled at her as I began unwrapping the box much like the father in Christmas Story who had won a special prize in the crossword contest he had entered.

I couldn’t believe my eyes as the cardboard pieces came flying off the outside of the box. In bold letters printed on the cardboard box was that iconic name brand,Fender. I tore open the remaining cardboard and found not only a black and white Fender bass but a small Fender amp. I looked at Sheila as I cradled the beauty. Sheila looked at me and smiled and said, “You said you always dreamed of having an electric bass. Sometimes dreams do come true.”

I plugged everything in and stood in front of the full length mirror and plucked a few notes. I looked at my reflection and realized that if I had plastic surgery, dyed my hair, lost a few pounds, became a south paw and learn how to play the bass,I could possibly pass for Paul McCartney.”

Item 2: Things that make me sad. A lone dove perched upon a telephone wire on a dark,damp,winter day. A local store that has recently gone out of business. Hard working citizens being laid off from their jobs. People who live by the adage, “Ignorance is bliss,” and then are more than willing to prove it to you by sharing their opinions.

Item 3: Things that make me smile: Two doves sitting and cooing beautifully on a tree branch outside my bedroom window on a warm spring morning. A business buying and selling locally. Four full pages of help wanted ads in the newspaper offering decent wages. People who believe that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing so they are willing to take the time to learn all the facts and examine all sides.

Item 4: Smiling Continued. Grand children. Add that to my list of things that make my days worth while.I hope to live at least another 25 years so I can see my grandsons and granddaughter grow up.

Item 5: Two lucky people. Rick who has Lynn to watch over him and Sheila to watch over me.

Item 6: ** When Warren Zevon was suffering the effects of terminal cancer he was asked if he had any philosophical thoughts he would like to leave behind. He thought about it and remarked, “Enjoy every sandwich!”

Warren also vowed to finish his final album before death overtook him. He struggled daily with the extreme pain and fatigue. One day in the studio while working with his producer and having a really rough time at it,his producer said,“Warren go take a nap.When you’re feeling better we will continue.” Warren looked at him, gave a twisted smile and said,”You don’t understand, this is how I am when I am feeling better.”

Item 7: Hospital costs.Three weeks ago I had a minor medical procedure, a Botox injection in my esophagus to help treat my achalasia. This process took about thirty minutes. I was in the hospital from 6 A.M. to about 8:30 A.M. Yesterday Sheila went on line to check our insurance to see how much they were charged by the hospital.The bill was $14,000. Luckily we have medical insurance.It can give one the chills to think what an infected toe or ear ache might cost.

Item 9: Ringo talks about George: I was watching a video clip of Ringo describing the last conversation he had with George Harrison right before George’s sad and painful death. George couldn’t sit up in bed and he could only speak in a low raspy whisper. Ringo did most of the talking and finally told George that it was time for him to leave because he had to fly to Boston.His daughter who was having surgery for a brain tumor. Ringo got up to leave and George reached out to him and weakly grabbed his arm and whispered, “Ringo, do you want me to go with you?” When Ringo recounted this story my tears matched his. Friends do that.

Until September: Read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a bar of chocolate and watch the sun rise and set. Go ahead.It don’t cost nothing.

Posted:  8/1/2014

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