Hillcrest 1 Stories

    

          After moving into this place....Oct.2015, I found that I was accumulating quite a few
        stories related to Hillcrest..... So I put them on a separate page to make them easier
         for my Hillcrest friends to find.  However I got too many stories for one page so I
         started another page ... HILLCREST 2 ... where my newer stories will be.               

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                 MY NEW LIFE                                                

      On Oct.3,2015..........After my kids and friends talked me into it,  I made the
big move  from the  home where my Dear Helen and I spent 60 of our 67 happy
years together. I had been there by myself three and a half years. So... not wanting
to be a burden on my family and friends I moved into a little apartment in this
 retirement community called Hillcrest. I had to give up 98% of the stuff I had
accumulated over my lifetime. And that was tough, And everything is so different
here. It's almost like living in a dream..... I awake in the morning and look around
me and ask, "Is this some kind of a joke?'
      Hillcrest is really a first class place for oldies. I had Helen here in Woods LTC 
for her last eight months. Over 300 residents living in apartments, small homes
and long term care, and all kinds of activities going on every hour of every day.
Everything imaginable is provided.
      So this is my present situation.......I've almost completely used up this old
body that I've been living in for 94 years. My eyes can't see very well. My ears can
hardly hear anything. My brain can't think very well. My legs can barely walk. The
only thing I've got that still works is my big mouth..... And it's usually working
overtime and getting me in trouble.  And the worst part of it is, that since I'm so
deaf, I need to speak loud so I can hear what I'm saying.
       So.....What do I do every day of the week?.......It's mostly the computer and
the wonderful world wide web. There's so many interesting things going on in this
world right now and I enjoy the  learning.  And I still have my little website where
you are right now. I can put the stories that I like to write here and  enjoy rereading
them and reminiscing the good old days. 
      Also ... While going through the very sad dementia trip with my Dear Helen,
I became acquainted with other caregivers like myself and I still relate to this caring
group and keep in touch with them through a website and emails.    
     There's also a lot going on here at Hillcrest and It's easy to make friends. 
We're all in the same boat.. I have two sisters and a brother-in-law living here and
another sister close by.  My dear friend, Ralph, picks me up once a month and we
go visit our old Lion's Club where I was a member for 53 years.  Some of my old
friends and relatives come to visit me here and it seems like they all want to take
care of me.
      Of course I still miss my Dear Helen and am reminded of her each time I see
a happy couple still living together here at Hillcrest. But looking at my situation
overall, I have to think that I'm a very lucky guy. The only real adversity I've had
to face throughout my entire 94 years was the sad dementia trip and loosing my
Dear Helen.
      So that's my new life. It's really nice to wake up in the morning and have
absolutely nothing that I need to do. I'm completely free. I can play all day long,
or join in some of the many social activates. and possibly make myself happy
even though I don't have Dear Helen anymore.
                               The new GeorgieBoy

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                  HE'S MY UNCLE TOO 

       A few months after I moved into Hillcrest, my nephew, Clark Lima from Fresno,
decided to pay me a visit. He told me he would have no problem finding Hillcrest
because he found it on the internet maps. He did find it OK but was a little confused
as he was driving on Mountain View Dr...... So when he saw a guy  on the sidewalk
here, he pulled to the curb and rolled down the window and said to the guy on the
sidewalk, .....
      "I came here from Fresno to visit my uncle who is in BC278". After giving Clark
instructions, the guy on the sidewalk asked him his uncles name and Clark told him,
"His name is George Streit" .Then the fellow on the sidewalk said  "He's my uncle too".
      What a coincidence.The fellow on the sidewalk just happened to be Robbie Davis. 
My sister's son. 

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               THE  HAIRCUT   

   This also happened about ten years ago. Every Tuesday evening
 we would meet at Los Jaritos Mexican restaurant with a group of
 friends from our Lions Club for a nice meal and social. We had            
     My dad told me that for all of his life he never got a haircut without Mom telling him
to. But once while doing his usual early morning shave and seeing himself in the mirror,
he said to himself, "I'm going to do something today that I've never done before, I'm
going to get a haircut without being told".
   Well....... as he and Mom were having breakfast, Mom looked up at him and sternly
said  "You get a haircut today"...........Poor Dad......
     As for myself, it was the same. Helen would always tell me when it was time. In fact,
she would call for an appointment.  Now I don't have anyone to tell me and my hair is
usually a mess.
      I'm living here at Hillcrest now and have a sister,Mary, who lives close by. Mary
finally got tired of looking at the mess and told me that I needed to get a haircut.  Not
being familiar with Hillcrest, I asked where I could get a haircut around here and she
told me and directed me to a place called the Beauty Salon.
      Well..........I'd never been to a Beauty Salon before but I wandered in there after doing
my exercise with Paula Standly and was told by the stylist that she could take me next
because she had a cancellation. I watched the haircut through the big mirror and saw
myself change into a really handsome movie star that didn't even look like me.
    In leaving, I complimented her and told her, "Now all these white haired ladies
running around here are going to have the hots  for me and I'll be in big trouble".
   There just happened to be one white haired lady sitting there who overheard this and
when she quit laughing, she said. "Can I be first on the list? " 

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                          Something else about my Dad
                  I started the above story with my dad looking into the bathroom
                  mirror while doing his early morning shave.  My mother told me
                  that one time on a Sunday morning, she was waiting to use the
                  bathroom and dad was in there just looking into the mirror with the
                  door wide open.  She asked him what he was doing in there for such
                  a long time just looking into the mirror.  He responded.  "I'm practicing
                  my usher look"........ Yes ........  He was an usher for our church.

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                 THE   SIGN  ON  MY  DOOR    

                      

         Somebody put this little sign on my apartment door and after
thinking about it for awhile, I decided to just leave it there.
      Yesterday my Hillcrest neighbor came by as I was walking out
my door and said............ "So you're the Cranky Old Man"......  
Well........I had to admit it and we both laughed. So I had to tell her
 this story about how  I got that name.
      Two years ago, when I was still able to drive and get around fairly
well,  I was shopping at the local Stater Bros. market on an early Sunday
morning. I was  ready to check out and there was only one check stand
open  and there were four customers with full carts ahead of me. ......
I'm thinking.....I need to do something about this.........So I yelled out..
pretty loud......"Hey!...We need to get another check stand opened up....
There's a cranky old man standing in line here with four others ahead of
him and the line is barely moving"
        Well...after that... there was deadly silence....Then I heard someone say
"We've got one coming".........
       So another checker did appear and told the lady in front that she was
next. Whereupon I heard the lady say, "Don't you think you should take care
of the cranky old man first?"......Then we all started laughing.... But the
amazing thing about this was that nobody seemed angry at me for my rude
behavior.  When you're old, (almost 93), people are very forgiving.  You can
get away with anything.
      Now ....... At 95 years, my sister, Mary, gave me a hat with the label
"Cranky Old Man"  on it ............. I think I'm turning into one.  

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                   BENEFITS OF OLD AGE

        Another example of what I can get away with just because I'm old.
       A few years ago when I was walking with a cane ..... pretty slow.
More like hobbling than walking. I was shopping in the Target store and
as I was hobbling  pass the women's clothing section, I noticed a
middle aged lady in an area where the mannequins were all displaying
sexy lingerie and I said to her, "Wow....I'll bet you would really look
good in one of those outfits"......She turned to me and scornfully said,
Are you trying to flirt with me?" I told her I was doing the best I
could for a 93 year old man. She laughed and told me she was looking
there not for herself but as a gift for a friend.
       Do you think I'm still having fun ?
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           My sisters told me I should share this with my Hillcrest friends.          
       In the good old days, when Helen and I were in our sixties we used to
go camping in our RV with a group of friends. I remember one time in particular.
We were gathered around the campfire relaxing and enjoying the beautiful
evening. Not much conversation..... so Max Pence came up with an idea. He
suggested that each of us tell the story of when we first realized that the one
who later became our life long partner cared for us.
      Max started it off, telling about the time he first realized that Glenis cared
for him as much as he cared for her. Then each of us in the circle told our stories
and what wonderful love stories they were...Sometimes very emotional, especially
when my Helen told her story. After hearing these very personal stories it seemed
like our group shared a closeness as never before. And what a great gift Max threw
upon us.
      Thinking about it, I believe it was the happiest time in my life when I realized
that Helen loved me as much as I loved her. So now I want to share that story with
my Hillcrest friends.......... Here it is.


                     THE HAPPIEST TIME OF MY LIFE
      The year was 1945. Still in the army. Just back from overseas. Stationed at
Camp Pinedale, Fresno. I was 23 years old and had never really had a girlfriend.
I had always been kind of bashful around girls. My army buddie, Don Cook, had
made arrangements for me to meet his girlfriend's 18 year old sister.
      On meeting her, I was immediately overwhelmed by her exuberance and beauty.
She was so cheerful and happy and best of all she seemed to like me. But I knew
she was very popular and had several boy friends. (Read the Harry Morehead story

      The next day, Don asked me when I was going to see her again and I told him
I didn't know. Well........ Don called me a dummy and gave me a little lecture about
dating girls, but he set up another date and told me from now on, you're on your own.
So I got another chance and I was in heaven. From then on, Helen was on my mind
constantly. I was so happy.
      On the second date I was waiting for her out in front of the telephone company
where she worked as an operator. There were girls coming out and I was not sure
which one was Helen. One girl came out that looked like Helen but she just looked
at me and didn't say anything. I didn't know what to do but I started following her
down the street. Then I heard someone yell "Hey George"....Of course it was Helen
who had just come out and fortunately saw me walking down the street. Wow..........
I was so relieved.
      After the third date, something terrible ended it all. I awoke at the army base
with a high fever and a pain in my right knee.  I knew immediately that it was
osteomyelitis, which had plagued me several times since my high school days.
I also knew, from my previous experiences with it, that I would be confined to
a hospital for many months, being treated with drugs, before I would be cured.
And worst of all, I knew that I would never see Helen again.
      They put me in a place called the infirmary, to be transferred to the hospital at
Hammer Field the next day. I had told Don to give Helen the bad news. The pain in my
leg, together with the high fever was bad, but the pain in my heart over losing Helen
was all I could think about. It was about six o'clock in the evening and I was just lying
there in the infirmary, feeling so bad, when this soldier came to my bed and asked if I
was Sgt. Streit. He told me that he worked at the base message center, and there was
a telephone operator at the Fresno switchboard who made him promise to write and
hand deliver a little note to a Sgt. Streit at the base infirmary. He handed me the little
note and said "Here it is.,,, I had to walk all the way down here from headquarters, but
I kept my promise".
      I remembered then that Helen did work for the telephone co. as a switchboard
operator, and as I read the little note, the tears came to my eyes......... They still do.....
      That little note changed my life forever, and I have kept it close to me all these
years. This is what it read. "Miss you very much. Hope you get well soon. My fingers
are crossed for you. With all my love Helen"
      That was it.....The happiest time of my life.....
I think I should mention, that on our third date, when I said goodbye to her, she told me
that I could give her a kiss if I liked. So I did. Then she said, (and I remember her exact
words) "Do you call that a kiss?"......I explained to her that I had never kissed anyone
before. We did not kiss in our family. It was my very first kiss. Which makes it all the
more remarkable that she would stay with me for two and a half months while I was
in the hospital. Visiting every day, even tho I was such a terrible kisser.
      This helps to explain why I loved her so much...... Can you blame me?
       Below is a picture of the little note, and a photo of us on our third date. 

               


     After reading this story ........ I'm thinking about that soldier who wrote the little
note and walked all the way from headquarters to keep the promise he made to an
unknown voice on the telephone. Did he realize the happiness he created ? I wonder
who he was and where he is today. I wish so much that I could somehow thank him.
    This is really getting to be a long story, But I think I should give you the happy
ending.  When I was still in the hospital and using a wheel chair.  I wheeled myself
down the hallway to the PX store because I wanted to get my dear Helen a nice gift
but instead of a gift, I bought an engagement ring for 150 dollars.  I realized that it
was a crazy thing to do but I just couldn't help it.  I was dreaming of the time when
I would eventually give it to her.
     It didn't take long for that to happen.  It was the second tine I saw her after
getting out of the hospital. We were sitting downtown on a street bench late at night.
 was  waiting for the bus to take me back to the army base and she was waiting for
the one to take her home and I lust couldn't think of anything but that ring.  I told her
that I had to get rid of something that was burning a hole in my pocket and I pulled
out the little box with the ring in it.
    As she opened it, we both got emotionally chocked up and I didn't know what 
to
do but my bus came by and I was forced to leave her sitting alone on the little bench.
  What a dummy I turned out to be.  Her dad said to me later..... "George ..... don't
you know that you're supposed to ask the fathers permission to marry his daughter?"
    We had to wait a long three weeks for them to plan a big church wedding, but we
finally got started with our 67 happy years together.

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                  WALKING  CART  INSTRUCTIONS 

      Once when I was walking over to Cedar Ct. to visit my sister, I was stopped
by a well dressed young man who introduced himself as Ryan and he told me that
the reason he stopped me was that he wanted to tell me that I was using my little
walking cart the wrong way. He had noticed that I was bent over the cart with my
arms straight down onto the cart handles which he said was not the way to use the
cart. He instructed me to have the cart handles raised to waist height which he said
Hillcrest would do, and I was to raise my arms in front of me to grab the handles
and walk along behind the cart.
      I told him that the reason I was walking bent over the cart was that I was
putting my weight on my arms which takes the weight off of my legs. And that I
would not be able to walk at all if I had to put my weight on my very weak legs.
He didn't seem to understand this but I thanked him for his concern and we both
went on our way. But my story doesn't end here.
      About a month after this, another gentleman stopped me and introduced himself
as Mathew and told me exactly what Ryan had told me. I explained my situation to
him as I did to Ryan but he also didn't seem to understand.
      I know that a walking cart is mainly used by the elderly just for keeping their
balance. But it can also replace a wheelchair or crutches for those with weak legs. 
      Ryan and Mathew both seemed to be intelligent and well respected around Hillcrest.
Probably both with university degrees.  But I guess universities don't teach that
walking carts can be used instead of a wheel chairs if someone cannot carry their
weight on their legs.  
      I hope they don't have me kicked out of here for misuse of a walking cart..........

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                MIRROR  LIGHT  BOXES  

                                     

      Three and a half years after loosing my dear Helen and 94 years old, I moved
out of the big home where we had spent 65 happy years and into a little apartment
at Hillcrest and started a new life. 
      My daughter, Wendy, was going through all the stuff we had accumulated over
our lifetime and came across these light boxes. I don't know where she found them
and can barely remember making a dozen or so about 60 years ago. For some reason,
she decided I needed them so she dumped  them on me here  at Hillcrest. They were
in terrible shape.  Mirrors cracked and falling apart.  Lights missing or burned out.... etc..
 So without much else to do I thought I would see if I could get them working again. 
     I don't know where I got the idea for making these things or what to call them so
I will just call them Mirror Light Boxes because they contain mirrors and lights. They
are usually a square box made of 1/2 inch plywood and about four inches in depth.
The insides and back of the box is completely covered with mirrors and a two way
mirror is placed on the front so that any light inside the box will be reflected around
from mirror to mirror to mirror forever and the bouncing lights inside can be seen
through the two way mirror on the front. It's even better if the lights are moving,
so of course I had to try that.  Sixty years ago I used little Christmas tree lights or
a fluorescent tube shining through little clear spots on a mask. Too bad we didn't
have LEDs in those days.  
     With barely any tools in my little place here at Hillcrest, I was finally able to
make some repairs to get them working but from the outside they still look quite
beat up. I was barely able to find a place for them in my little apartment and  friends
who visit me ask "What are those black boxes with the mirrors on them?" so I turn
them on for them.  I made ta little  video to show them. 

 

 

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                      HOME-MADE  HILLCREST VIDEOS

      Since I  moved into the Hillcrest retirement community and without much to do,
 I made a few little videos of some of the activities here and put them  on  YouTube.

      Just click on the URL to play them.

PAULÄ'S  BALL  GAME ....,,.........  https://youtu.be/Ro882eVHKM4          

ROYNON  CAROLERS ...............    https://youtu.be/bzB0PHcQcsk            

HILLCREST  SINGERS  1minn....... https://youtu.be/ZEPhNBnEifM                                                                

HILLCREST  SINGERS  10min .....  https://youtu.be/eqx9HdsKsPo      

HILLCREST  MENS  QUARTET  .....   https://youtu.be/ZFAgc        

MUD SPRING MOCKINGBIRDS 11min ..  https://youtu.be/-pjFKAovc6I       

MUD SPRING MOCKINGBIRDS 3min ... https://youtu.be/_RoPr0RSKOE   

CATHY and CARL ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IddvSQVyvDM&t=20s             

SINGING ..................................     https://youtu.be/ZIpFcV-j50Y            

VIOLINS  ..................................    https://youtu.be/FLj1uQKrB0k             

MARNA'S  KEYBOARDS ................   https://youtu.be/SLmXqswkgr4       

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      WHAT  YOU  CAN  ENJOY  IN  THE  MAURY  SMELTZER  LOUNGE                   

          Again ....... I find myself without much to do around here, so to occupy my
time, I've been making little videos of the performances in the Maury Smeltzer Lounge. 
I edited them a little and gave each one a title and made a 20 minute movie of them.
  There are 19 performances.  Each one, an average of one minute long.  Here is a list
of the performers.

1...Al Eisenwinter                      8...Joe Gandelman                      15...Jimmy Chapel

2...Birch Court Photo Shoot       9...Mathew Neeley                       16...Planet Rehab 

3...Cathleen Evans                   10...Nita Lapp                              17...Virginia Stark

4...Chaplin Tom                        11...Sara Wallin Huff                    18...Unknown Lady  

5...David Hone                         12...Stu and Lauri Stillman            19...Al and lady Duet

6...Don Linde                            13...Ancients Instruments with Ellen Rondina

7...Jerry Bergan                        14...Jerome Dean 

 

 

      Now ......... Six months have gone by and I have accumulated a few more MSL

performances for you.  I have listed them below ........  

1...Bronwvn Schramm           5...Marcelo Cesena                      9...Unknown Trio    

2...David Francis                     6...Piano Recital                          10...Virginia Reading

3...Hot Topic Quartet               7...Ryan and Gilmore4...Jaque Nune  8...Stephanie Brice

 

 

        Now ......... Another six months have gone by and I have accumulated eve
more MSL performances for you.  I have listed them below ........  

            1...Jerome Dean

           2...Mountain Roses

           3...Ron Reynolds

           4...Ultimate Duo

 

 

       Now ......... Again, I have four more performances  to add here.

                  1 ... Bob McArthur as Elvis

                  2 ... Carl Bergquist-Devore ... Piano

           3 ... Josh Stefanski  ... Piano

                  4 ... Peter Small ... as George Washington 

      

 

             Now, again ....... If you are short of time like my friend, Chuck, who is
always a very busy guy,  you can view all these performances in less than 4 minutes.
This video shows each performance for just 5 seconds.  

 

 

           Now, Again ....... I showed this video to my friend Howard,, and he said
to me ..... " OK George,  I like it,  but it's too long.  Why don't you make a video
showing each performance for just one second ?"  ..... I'm thinking about it ..... 
       Well ....... I thought about it so here it is ....  just for you Howard. 
        35 Performances in 35 seconds. ....

 

 

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              HILLCREST RESIDENT PROFILES 

     A few days ago I was having lunch with Chuck Davis and wondering why Hillcrest
did not have a website to provide a little information about each resident. It would
be so nice to have some information to go with each friendly face I see around here.
  Chuck told me that Hillcrest did indeed provide such a feature. He told me to go to
the library which is right next to the Hillcrest Café and I could find each resident's 
profile with photos and stories filed alphabetically in binders.
     So I took his suggestion and had a great time learning a little about those of you
whom I already know. My sister, Mary's profile, was well done with two pages of
photos and stories. I copied them out for her so she could enjoy them. I looked at
my own profile, which was like nothing. So I had fun doing my own and saved
Hillcrest the trouble..................... Below is the profile I created for myself.

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  Horrible George moved into Hillcrest after living in La Verne and Pomona
for 80 years. He was born in Redondo Beach, Ca. and raised in Pomona.
He is the brother of Hillcrest residents Millie Davis and Mary Streit from a
family of six kids. At an early age he was fascinated with electricity and
played around with it for five years in the army and the rest of his working life.
The crowning achievement in his life was being able to attract and marry
his wonderful Helen with whom he spent 67 happy years. Three kids.........
Barney, Terri and Wendy......One grandson, Todd.
I think George and Helen had all the fun one could imagine. The only
adversity was the sad way she had to leave him four years ago, after an
eight year battle with vascular dementia. George cared for her at home
except for the last eight months in Hillcrest Woods.
Now George spends most of his time writing stories and songs about his
Dear Helen. He has a little website where he can put them and enjoy them.
After four years, George still grieves over the loss of his Dear Helen but he
has the wonderful memories which can never be taken away.
      Now, I'm wondering how many others don't know about the Residence's Profiles.
 I've never seen it mentioned in any of the Hillcrest publications.
     I find that this library is a very interesting place, but nut not well used. I was
there four rimes and only once was another person there. He was a typical very
friendly Hillcrest guy and I told him a little about myself and why I was there.  He
told me his name so I looked him up in the  binders. His profile was a fascinating
and extensive story.  After reading it I told him, "Now I know more about you
than you know about yourself".
     In going through these profiles, I noticed that everyone here is a university
graduate. Even the wives........ And most of the wives worked at some profession.
...... Mostly teaching.  It made me realize that I'm the only guy who snuck in here
with just a High School education .......... The same with my dear Helen and she
never had a job ........ only a loving wife and mother .....  So  even though I wrote
my own profile, it doesn't amount to much, but at least I don't have to worry about
identity theft because nobody would ever want such an identity.
    I cannot understand why hillcrest does not provide these profiles on a website
so anyone with a computer and internet access could easily read them and print
them out. I had to steal Mary's  from the binder and take it with me to print it out
for her.  At this day and age, It's almost unheard of to keep documents on paper,
in binders rather than in computer format.
    Chuck tells me that Hillcrest already has a website.......Which I looked at but
there's nothing there that a resident would be interested in. It's all about selling
Hillcrest and attracting new residents.
    Websites are not expensive and I think it would be easier to maintain these profiles 
on a website than in those heavy cumbersome binders that I can barely lift.       

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               PERSONAL WEBSITE                 

     In the previous story about Resident's Profiles, I was discussing websites and
 realize that I have a little more to say about them that does not relate to  profiles
... .... So here it is.
     After my Dear Helen left me and my caregiving days were over, I was consumed
by a passionate desire to write stories and songs about her. Not only stories and
songs but slideshows and videos of her and the good old days.  I wanted to share
it with our family and friends from the church, the Lion's club, and our neighbors
and all who cared so much for her. I'm thinking .....How can I do this? I've seen
wonderful family treasures tucked away in an old filing cabinet or a dresser drawer
where nobody ever knew they existed and I didn't want that to happen to the
memories of my Dear Helen.
     My grandson suggested the ideal solution. I started this little website where
you are right now. It's been a godsend for me. It really doesn't matter whether
anyone reads it, but it gives me a place to put my heart and soul, and that's
exactly what I've done for almost five years.
     Now ....Why am I telling you this? I'm thinking that there may be others here
at Hillcrest who have lost their lifetime partner and are having a sad and lonesome
journey through their remaining years. To them I say this ..... Do what I did ....
write some stories about your loved one's life and put them on your own website
as a tribute to your lost love.  You can be a computer dummy like me and the
website provider will guide you through it. And since I don't have much to do around
here I offer my help.

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               I'M  HERE TOO 

   I don't know what brought this little story to my mind but I have to tell it anyway.
     One time in the good old days, Helen and I were visiting our close friends, Louie
and Lorene. It was a hot summer night and we were sitting outside, enjoying a quiet,
moonlit evening. You could hear dogs in the distance. They were not really barking,
it was more like howling. We would hear one far away, then one from down the street,
then one from Louie's neighbor, then Louie's dog would chime in and he was quite
loud. Lorene suggested that Louie put him in the garage.
     Louie refused to pen him up. saying his dog needed to participate in the howling.
He said it was a social thing and Fido was telling the other dogs ..... "I'm  Here  Too"
    Now....... At this time of my life.......Older than dirt...... Nothing to do.......
What brought this little incident  that happened over 60 years ago  to my mind?
.........  I'm thinking ......  It's exactly what I'm doing right now here at Hillcrest
......  I'm telling everyone, loud and clear........ " I'M HERE TOO "

                            

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                         TAPS       

         l was a horn blower in school bands since I was a little kid and when I decided
to become a hero and join the army, I found that in the several training camps
where I was stationed during my first six months of army life,  I was in great demand
as a bugler. All the older base and company commanders seemed to love hearing the
old time bugle calls..
     They gave me a little book with all the calls listed and when they should be played.
It was really a gravy job. No KP or guard duty. All I had to do was toot the bugle
every so often throughout the day.
     In the good old days, when we would go RV camping in remote areas, I enjoyed
playing taps late at night and other campers thought it was wonderful. There is
something so peaceful and restful about the sound of taps coming from a wide open
space on a quiet night. 
     So now ....... Here I am at Hillcrest with a storage room full of horns that my
sister Mildred's kids dumped on me and there just happens to be a balcony close
to me overlooking the valley between Birch ct. and Maple ct.....So......after thinking
about it for a while, I decided to give it a try. At ten PM I went out on the balcony
and gave it my best and a fellow came out on a nearby porch and told me "That
sounds great......we enjoy it.......Keep it up".
     So I did ....... At 10 pm every night for two weeks. A few others came out on
their porches and showed their appreciation and I was starting to wonder......
Am I going to be doing this forever?
     Well..........Robbie answered that question for me. He came to my door and
said there was a complaint about the Taps. So that was the happy end of it. I really
didn't want to be doing it forever...............I can find something else to do with the
horns.  However since tooting on a horn is quite loud, even with a mute attached,
I just have to be satisfied tooting on just the mouth piece in order to keep my lip in shape.
    I'm thinking that I need to keep my lip in shape cause they will probably want me to
play taps at my funeral.

                     GeorgieBoy the Bugler

     I was unable to find a file of me playing Taps, but I did find one of me
playing the trumpet.  Click on the player to here it.

  

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             HORRIBLE  GEORGE ?

      Barbra sent me a very nice complimentary email telling me she didn't think I was Horrible at all.
     Well .......If anybody thinks I'm not Horrible, they should listen to this song that someone wrote  
    about me. Just click on it.  ........ 

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                   MORE of HORRIBLE GEORGE

    Yesterday I called Hillcrest Maintenance and told the lady who answered "I'm
Horrible George in apt. bc278.  My toilet is clogged and poo-poo won't go down".
She said she would let them know.
   Thirty minutes later, a maintenance man appeared and told me, "I'm here to
fix Horrible George's toilet so poo-poo will go down".   

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                  NOTE FROM AN OLD MAN          

      A few years ago, when I was still able to get around, I would sometimes notice
a happy couple in a restaurant or wherever. who reminded me of my own bygone
days, And I would feel the need to give the guy a little note. I would always slip it
to him on my way out so that I'm out the door before he could read it...........I found
 that because of my age, I could  get away with lots of stuff.... People would forgive me
....... Here's the little note.
                    ____ __________________________________________________                        
                               Yes, I'm an old man, older than dirt. And my behavior may seem
                        strange, but I can't help it because that's just the way I am. I think
                        you and your pretty wife are at a stage in your life where I once was.
                        And every time I see a happy couple such as you, it brings back
                        memories of long ago, and I feel the need to share a few words with
                        you. I carry these little notes for that purpose.
                             My Dear Wife left me two years ago after a ten year battle with
                        vascular dementia and during the sorrow and sadness of that
                        experience, the one thought that was always on my mind was that I
                        did not express my love for her as often as I could have while she was
                        still able to think and understand. As I think back on it now, that is
                        my one regret and it will always be with me. I wish so much that I
                        could have her back with me one last time so I could give her a hug and
                        tell her how much I love her. One never realizes the value of what he
                       has until he looses it.  I just wanted to tell you this so maybe you can
                       avoid my sad journey.

                   ___________________________________________________________

  •      Now ....... Here I am at Hillcrest and I've met some happy couples here and
  •  I can tell right away that there is no need for my little notes around this place. 

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             TEACHING   

      As I meet more and more residents here at Hillcrest, I am amazed at how
many are former teachers or instructors, of some sort. School teachers, college
professors, Sunday School teachers, Boy Scout leaders, piano teachers etc. Either
by profession or volunteer.
      I've always thought that teaching is the greatest of all professions because it
offers happiness and self esteem to both the teacher and the pupil. As for myself,
no matter what I was doing, I would try to teach, because I got so much personal
satisfaction and enjoyment in teaching someone else to do what I could do.
      In the Army Signal Corp. since I was the only one in our company who really
understood electricity, I so much enjoyed teaching others about it and witnessing
their progress. Later, as a self employed electrician, no matter what type of electrical
work I was doing, I always tried to explain it to the owner so that he might be able
to do it himself the next time.
      Once I was hired by a plastic molding co. to teach a class of 20 of their employees,
one night a week for three months. The class was mostly Mexican and we used an
interpreter but they were eager to learn and I was so pleased to watch their progress.
      I ended up my working days at FDS Manufacturing in So. Pomona where it was
actually more fun than work because I myself was learning. I taught myself how to
modernize old machinery using microprocessor controls and I made sure that FDS
employees learned along with me.
      Now ..... here at Hillcrest, I can look back on it all and be grateful that my life
has been such a wonderful learning and teaching experience......I have a feeling of
self worth, and as I've mentioned elsewhere ..... That's what my happiness is all about.

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                 IN  CASE  OF  IRE                                                       

     In my garage work shop, I had a little sign that hung there for many years.
It read "In case of file, lift this flap",  so of course everyone would have to lift it.
I remember when my sister's grandson, Casey, was only six years old and could
 not quit laughing after he lifted the flap.  

                        

                      This is it.... hanging in my garage for many years. I think it's still there.
    Here at Hillcrest I noticed signs at the elevators reading, "IN CASE OF FIRE....."
So without much to do, I decided to have some fun with my home made sign.
I hung it near the elevator in the Murray Smeltzer Lounge.

                                    

                         The sign normal                   With flap lifted

       I put the sign up on Tuesday evening. On Wednesday evening it was still there but
it was gone the next day.............I guess someone with a university degree didn't like
being called a DUMMY.....
     Anyway.......I'm still having fun with this.  I have one hanging in my little apartment
and the girls who clean my place get a bang out of it.  They invite their friends in just to 
see their reaction when they lift the flap.

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            MY  HILLCREST SONG  

        Since I've made so many songs about everything that meant so much to me,
I thought I should  make one about Hillcrest.  I don't have all my best song making
tools anymore but I gave it a try.  Just click on the player to hear it.

              LYRICS


            All alone in my sorrow,............Caring for the one I love,
            Where I'm going I don't know,.......Needing guidance from above.
            Then one day in my wandering,........I found a place to lead me on.
            A place with love and understanding.......Hillcrest....where I belong
            A place where I could live my memories........Now I know where I belong.
            A place where kindness knows no boundaries....Hillcrest .. my own sweet home.

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                        What ever happened to La Verne's

            ALL-AMERICAN  FIRE-CRACKER  MARCHING  BAND 

       Throughout my life I've always loved to toot my horn, especially in a. Marching Band
 In the mid eighties. I witnessed the annual La Verne 4th of July parade and was very
disappointed because there was not a single marching band in the parade. There was
everything else you could imagine......People walking and on cars and trucks all decorated
 up......A few Small rock bands riding in trucks with loud speakers blaring out what they
called music. Some fire engines with loud sirens screaming and a bunch of businesses
advertising what they had to sell, but not one Marching Band.
      Well....I felt that I needed to do something about this disgrace to our 4th of July parade. 
We already had a little marching band of family and friends that played the Small World
March for the Roynon School children as they marched from down-town to their school
each year for their annual Halloween Carnival. So next June, we posted little flyers
around town and was able to organize a fair size marching band and had fun playing
in the 1986 4th of July parade.
     Naturally we won the band trophy since we were the only marching band in the parade.
The next year, it seemed like everyone wanted to be in our marching band, and as we
played year after year, we grew in size. We always played the same march, "United Nations"
by Karl King. It was a nice easy march and we liked the name.
    Sadly..... After the 1991 parade we had to quit for two reasons. First..... In that 1991
parade we happened to be closely followed by a fire engine that was continually sounding
it's deafening Horns and siren. I went back and asked them to please quiet it down a little,
and they thought I was out of my mind. They told me that all the little children wanted to
hear the sirens and horns and there was nothing they could do about it.
      The second reason we had to quit was, as I mentioned before, everyone wanted to be
in the band, and many were really not musicians so they would bring anything they could
beat on and say they were drummers and unfortunately they all wanted to be heard.
They even drownded out our real drummers.             
     So to some it up......you could say there was too much noise drowning out the
beautiful music. Anyway,  It was fun while it lasted and somewhere I still have five first
place marching band trophies and some great movies and videos of us.     

     

                  I made a 3min. video of our July 4th 1989 and 1990 marching bands,  

   

 


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                 BRIEF HISTORY OF THE POMONA BREAKFAST

                 LIONS CLUB SITTING DOWN MARCHING BAND

      Soon after the club was founded in year 1957, the club was meeting
upstairs at the St Charles Grill on  Holt ave. Two great  musicians, Frank Ness
and Norm Holtby, on piano and sax, started playing at club meetings. They played
old time songs and everybody would sing along. A couple years later they were
joined by some not so great musicians, Dennis Mayer, George Streit, and  Bill
Coburn (trombone, trumpet and clarinet).
       When the club outgrew the St. Charles and the meeting place was moved to
the Pomona Elks Lodge which had a nice stage (oh boy), they added a bunch of
drums and a few more horns and started to play mostly marches, (easy ones of course)
and developed a few specialty numbers which they would play and dance and sing to.
As the club grew in size the band grew to 15 (even had one violin)
      The band didn't accept just anyone, they had very strict audition rules
which required the applicant to be able to produce an audible sound on an actual
musical instrument. They never kicked anyone out for playing wrong notes, in fact
they at one time considered changing the name to "Pomona Breakfast Lions
Sitting Down Wrong Note Marching Band"
     For over 54 years the band played once a week for every club meeting, for
club fund raisers, for various community events and parades while many not so great
musicians were a part of it.
      As the club grew smaller, the band also dwindled. A year ago it was down to
six not so good musicians and now only three, but it still plays every Friday for
the club meetings and has big plans for the future.
     The band invites anyone who thinks they can pass the strict audition rules to
join them.
               Sadly..... In the year 2012 George had to quit the club because dear Helen
               needed full time care. But Breakfast service clubs were becoming obsolete
              anyway. So the band along with the club died a natural death

I made a song video so you can hear our band playing our favorite march.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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             THE HILLCREST SITTING DOWN MARCHING BAND 

   As I've mentioned before, I've always been a marching band fanatic, and over
the years I had accumulated a lot of horns and drums for marching bands. So
when I moved into Hillcrest I invited all my friends and relatives to take any of
them for themselves, and they did. But there was still a bunch of horns left over.
So without ever asking me, they brought the leftovers here to Hillcrest and
dumped them on me, saying....."Hillcrest needed to have a Marching Band".
    Well .... It sounded like a wonderful idea, but there were a few problem
associated with old age .... Then I thought .... How about a Hillcrest Sitting
Down Marching Band ? .... Now that also sounds pretty good but the problems
are still there. So I'm thinking about it and find that it's a great thing to think
about and I'm going to hang on to those horns and just have fun thinking about it.        

                                                 

              The HIllcrest marching band ....... Waiting for some tooters

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                          MARIA  REMEMBERS  DEAR HELEN 

     In the good old days, Helen and I became attached to a little Mexican restaurant named
Los Jarritos that Pedro Lopez had recently opened. As it grew in size and popularity over the
years, we became good friends with the happy family that worked there.
      After Helen started her sad dementia journey I very seldom went there anymore but
recently, four years after Dear Helen had passed and I had moved into Hillcrest, my daughter
took me back there and Maria came up to me and gave me a big hug.
     Helen always tried to do whatever she could for Maria because she thought Maria had
a tough life raising two boys by herself.  Maria, along with her boys worked there as a
waitress from the start.
    Maria told me of how Helen used to bring her fresh peaches, apricots and plums that I had
grown and how once Helen had insisted on celebrating Maria's birthday.
     I well remember the birthday thing as it was Helen at her best. She had found out that it was
Maria's birthday and insisted that we all sing Happy Birthday to her.  Then Helen took off the
string of beads she was wearing and fastened them around Maria's neck as a birthday gift.
        Then tears came into Maria's eyes.

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               THE LAST TO LEAVE         

      Now that I'm an old guy living alone here at Hillcrest like so many others, I'm
reminded of a little incident from the good old days when Helen and I with our six year
old grandson. Todd, were RV camping with a group of friends.
      Todd was one of three grandkids in our group and these kids always had a great
time playing together as we traveled from campground to campground, staying a few
days at each site. On one occasion these little playmates were joined by another little
boy named Roger, who's parents were work campers of some sort who would stay the
maximum two weeks at each campground then move on to another.
      When our group was getting ready to move on, we all felt sorrow for Roger because
he was such a nice little boy and we had become rather attached to him. As we were
packing up to leave, Roger was almost crying, saying, "Why do I always have to be the
last to leave ..... Everywhere I go, I make friends, then they leave and I'm always the
last." I vividly remember little Roger standing there on the empty campsite as we pulled
away, while Todd was waving goodbye to him.
      My sister, Audrey and I continually talk about how tough it is to be the last to leave.
Of course we can make new friends, but new friends can never take the place of the
friends we lived our lives with.

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                  I THINK I KNEW MAURY SMELTZER

     Maury Smeltzer must have been a big wheel here at Hillcrest because they named
the Maury Smeltzer Luonge after him.
   Maury's kids and our kids all attended La Verne Heights Elementary school and 
remember the Smeltzers being active in the PTA and other school events. Also, Maury's
son, Steve, was one of the cub scouts when Helen was the den mother.
     My son, Barney, and Steve were good friends from first grade through High School
and they met again at their recent 50th year class reunion. Barney, all the way from
Singapore, and Steve from Hawaii.
     I have so many photos of Barney and Steve when they were Cub Scouts and school
kids, but I treasure this one that Barney gave me of them at their 50th class reunion.
   Steve, in the red.

                 

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             WHAT TO DO WITH MY GREAT MUSIC CD's ?

     Without much to do, I was recently going through all the stuff that had somehow
followed me here to Hillcrest and found a bunch of music CDs that I had made of the
great songs which I had created over my last 30 years.
     It looks like I had put a lot of effort into making these CD's. Most of them had nice
labels and song lists neatly enclosed in CD sleeves. I remember giving them to friends
and family over the years but I never realized I still had so many.
     The first version was GeorgieBoy's Greatest Hits #1 and every few years I would
come out with a new version which would include my latest songs. The last version was
GeorgieBoy's Greatest Hits #12. I guess that after creating a new version, I didn't know
what to do with the older CDs.
     So now I'm thinking ........... I have 32 CD's of my wonderful songs laying here just
gathering dust. Why don't I donate them to the Hillcrest Gift Shop and they can sell them
for $1.00 each. So I did just that.......... But they didn't sell....So we lowered the price to
10 cents each ..... They still would not sell, so I took them all back ........... and did some
more powerful thinking.......... It's not much fun being such a great song writer if no one
ever listens to them. What would Mozart or Beethoven do ? ....... I emailed them but they
never answered.
    Well....... I finally figured a way out ..... I'll just put these CDs on a table somewhere
with a little note inviting anyone to take one .......... And if they are not taken, will I quit
making songs ? ... Hell No ........ It's too much fun.......

                

      One week later ........ Well .... I put eight of them on a table in the Maury Smeltzer
lounge, with a little note inviting anyone to take one ....... Two days later, there was
only six of them left.
               Yippee ...........Someone may be listening to my songs

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                 MAJOR  KISTLER'S  ADVENTURE

     My Hillcrest friend, Chuck, was telling me about his recent trip to Yosemite and his
problem with a sleeping bag, and it reminded me of something that happened while I
was in the Army. So of course I have to tell you about it.
     Major Kistler was the commander of our Signal Corp battalion while we were stationed
at Elmendorf Field, Alaska. He was not very well liked by the enlisted men or his fellow
officers because he was so strict and grouchy and never had a kind word for anybody.
Although he was quite obese and in terrible shape he loved to strut around in full uniform
with a very pompous attitude. I can't imagine a worse example of a soldier.
     He was the highest ranking officer who lived in the Officers Quarters on the base and
all the other officers who lived there hated him because he was always throwing his
weight around and bossing over them. No parties or fun whatsoever.
     We were getting ready to move down into the Aleutian Chain and were all issued new
fancy sleeping bags which we were playing around with and one of our favorite 2nd
Lieutenant officers told us this story about what happened in the Officers Quarters as
Major Kistler was trying out his bag.
     It was in the early evening when a 2nd Louie in the hallway was passing by the Major's
room and heard a voice calling for help. He put his ear to the door and heard "Help.....
help.... I'm trapped inside of a sleeping bag and can't get out. Someone please come and
help me get out of this thing." Well .... that voice was music to the 2nd Louie's ears and
he went up and down the hallway telling everyone about it.
     Soon, almost everyone in the building had quietly gathered in the hallway to listen
to the wonderful sound of the Major pleading for help getting out of his sleeping bag.
This went on for over an hour and everyone in the hallway was having a great time
listening to the never ending pleas for help.
     When they finally did rescue him, they found that he had crawled into the bag on the
foor and zipped it up tight, and the little string that was attached to the zipper had
become entangled and the bag was so tight around his fat body that he couldn't reach it.
     Did he thank them for the rescue? .. Of course not.. He was very angry because it
took them so long. As it turned out, it was great fun for the junior officers, and as an
extra bonus, they found out that the Major had peed in his pants while tied up.

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               FREE WILL ..... DO WE HAVE IT OR NOT ?

     While having lunch with my Hillcrest friend, Chuck, We were discussing this. I 
 gave him my take on it and he gave me his.
     To put it simply, Do we really have a choice in the decisions we make ?
Scientists and philosophers have debated this question down through the ages and after
reading what my favorite hero, Einstein, had to say about it, I became somewhat
engrossed in finding the answer.
     Philosophers use a language of their own when explaining it so it took me awhile to
understand, but it finally came to me and it was quite a revelation. So naturally I have
to give you my take on it..... This is what I believe.......
     We make decisions based on just two things. WHAT WE ARE BORN WITH, and
WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED .....We have no control over either of them....
     WHAT WE ARE BORN WITH, is our enzymes, genes, or DNA that is mostly inherited.
We certainly have no control over this
     WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED, is from the life situations we have faced. Especially our
early childhood situations. Since what we learned early in life will effect all our later choices,
which will effect our choices even later.
     I think it's important to understand this. We cannot control the situations we face or the
way we react to them, because the way we react is controlled by our genes and what we
have learned from the previous situations. We think we are using common sense when
common sence is different for each one of us.......Does this make sense ?......I personally
had a hard time with it but it finally sank in. I have to agree with Einstein, Schopenhauer,
and all the others.
     In spite of the great scientific contributions Einstein made, he always claimed that he
was no different than the average human, with the possible exception that he was
passionately and intensely curious. He said he just did what he could not help doing.
He had no choice.
     When we are faced with a time when we have to make a choice, We will often give it
much thought and concern, but whether we finally end up choosing this, or that, it will
be the result of what we are born with and the situations we have faced and learned from.
None of which we have any control over.
     Now.....What difference does it make ?.....Well, Here's something to think about.....
We give credit and praise to people who are kind, caring and loving. But what about the
vicious murderer? Neither of them have any choice over their actions. Of course we have
to incarcerate the murderer to protect society, but instead of demonizing and punishing
him for that over which he has no control, we should feel sorrow for him because of the
genes he was born with and the situations he faced throughout his life.
     Yes....It does make a difference....And I think if people could understand it, the world
would be a better place.......Why am I writing all this?....I have no choice....
     NOW FOR CHUCK'S OPINION ABOUT THIS ...... Chuck completely disagrees with me.
Chuck says that each of us has the ability to choose between right and wrong or good
and bad, regardless of what we were born with or the situations we have faced.
         He drew this little diagram on a napkin to show how our brain works.  

     

                      

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