After a year at Hillcrest, I found that I was accumulating too many stories
for one Hillcrest page, So I'm starting another page. Now I'm really happy
I've got a whole new page to put more stories on.
THE AMAZON FIRE 8
I've had fun with a lot of desk-top computers. Also Ipods, Ipads, lap-tops
and others. but several years ago when I was looking for a simple inexpensive
computer for my daughter and my sisters, I chose the Barnes and noble Nook.
It was just great for them because of all the games, family slide shows and old
family movies that they enjoyed. However the Nook had battery problems and not
much memory and they quit making them.
So .... I spent some time looking around and found the Amazon Fire 8 tablet.
It has all the latest stuff and is highly recommended by the computer publications.
I bought one just to see what it could do and I think It's just what some of us
Hillcrest Oldies need. I won't get into the technical details because I don't understand
them myself, But I'll just say that it's great for games and Kindle books that are all
free to download and family photos and movies that I can put on it. And with
Hillcrest Wi-Fi, you have the entire internet. And there's a lot of interesting stuff on
the World Wide Web. Another benefit to getting one of these things is that at least
for me, it's so much fun to play around with something new and learn from it.
So ...... To make myself useful around here I bought a few of them for family
and also to loan to Hillcrest friends so they could try them. I did this for two Hillcrest
friends and they both went for them and bought their own. If anybody else is interested,
I have two that I can loan out.
Amazon sells them from their website for $79.00, but with taxes and shipping
they come at $100,02. The computer wizards say that this is inexpensive because
some advertising is included, But that can be ignored, or we just turn off the Wi-Fi.
They sell then at Target for $99.00 plus taxes.
To sum it up .....I think these things are a great inexpensive cure for idleness
IDLENESS IS THE PLAYGROUND OF THE DEVIL
That's what my Hillcrest neighbor, Gene Bauer, said. And I agree. I need
something to keep my little brain busy learning something. Some of my Hillcrest
buddies spend all their spare time watching the TV but for me, the TV is almost
useless unless I'm learning something from the news or the talking heads.
I just cannot understand why anyone would want to watch a football game with
a bunch of guys running around on a nice green lawn and falling down on top of
each other ...... or watching somebody hitting a little ball with a stick and then
running in a circle while someone else is trying to catch the ball..... and sometimes
these guys are so happy that they are jumping up and down and hugging each
other like a bunch of little kids ..... What's going on here ?
Maybe for some folks it's fun to watch others having fun, but I like to have my
own fun. Even if I'm only playing a game or solving a puzzle, I'm using my little
brain and learning something, no matter how trivial, and that's my kind of fun.
As I was having breakfast this morning with some of my Lions club friends.
One of them told me that he was very unhappy because the Dodgers had lost four
games in a row. I did my best to get him interested in an Amazon Fire 8, as I
described in the previous story. Then he would care less about what the Dodgers
Over and over again, I find myself being critical of others
who may think differently than me. It's certainly possible
that entertainment is more important than learning.
When I was taking care of my Dear Helen, as she was slowly going through
the horrible stages of Vascular Dementia, There were times when I just wanted to
give up the battle and run away. But those thoughts never entered my head when
I was busy doing something that really needed to be done.
If I was doing anything at all that I thought was of some value, It gave me
a feeling of self-worth and the depression was gone. So everything I did was not
only for my Dear Helen, but for myself'. And I could actually be happy and proud
of myself. It was only when I was sitting around doing nothing that I became
depressed. To put it simply, I learned the value of keeping myself busy.
Now ..... I'm living here at Hillcrest. An old folks community which provides
us oldies with all kinds of activities to entertain us, but strangely, I've noticed some
of my friends here just seem to be lost and wandering around aimlessly with nothing to do.
As for myself, I would also be lost if it were not for my computer and the
wonderful World Wide Web. I'm a computer dummy but I'm learning. Half the time
I'm messing things up and the rest of my time I'm trying to fix what I've messed up.
But that's the way I keep myself busy and that's what works for me. Even if in my
efforts I produce nothing of any value, I feel that I've learned something of value.
Of course it's possible to learn something of value by watching TV or reading
a book so I guess it all depends on one's attitude.
Another way for me to keep busy is writing stories such as this one, and I put
them on my little website where I can read them and agree with everything I read
and marvel at the intelligence of the writer.
Here at Hillcrest, we are invited to go out by the flagpole at 10:30 AM this
Monday to witness an eclipse. Thinking about this ..... got me wondering about
exactly what is going on here, so I decided to do a little research, using my little
brain for all it is worth and see if I could understand it better.
When the moon gets between the sun and the earth and casts it's shadow on
the earth, they call it an eclipse. I've been hearing a lot about it on the TV lately
because they say we've got one coming and it's a big deal because it happens
so rarely. Because the size and distances involved here are so great, I envisioned
a scale model of the earth, moon ,and sun, making one inch equal to one-thousand
miles and this is what I came up with for my model.
The earth is 8 inches in diameter........ smaller than a basket ball.
The moon is 2 inches in diameter ...... and 20 ft from the earth.
The sun is 67 feet in diameter ........ and almost 2 miles from earth.
So now I have a little pumpkin (the earth) sitting on my desk-top, and 20 ft
away on my sink, I have a little golf ball (the moon), And up on Foothill blv. there
is a big hot-air balloon (the sun) which is shining through the pitch dark sky and
the little golf ball just happens to be between the big balloon and the pumpkin,
casting a shadow on the pumpkin.
So now I can understand an eclipse but I can't understand why it's such a big
deal .......... Well .... maybe it's because it gives scientists a chance to study things
that can't be seen any other time.
OK .... It is now Tuesday and the eclipse has done it's thing. Our exercise class,
(at 9:30), was canceled and everyone was urged to go outside to watch the eclipse,
or stay in the MS lounge and watch a video of it. I did a little of both.
I cannot understand why we couldn't do our exercise because of what the
moon was doing?
Hillcrest Eclipse Inside Hillcrest Eclipse Outside
My sister and I frequently talk about why we are still hanging around here
at our age ...... She being 97 .... Me 96. She asked me if I had made any plans
for my funeral and I told her I wasn't going to have one. She said, "Oh George,
you deserve a nice funeral. You would enjoy everyone saying wonderful things
about you". I told her it's too much trouble getting all dressed up just to go to a
funeral, in fact.... I won't be going to your funeral. Then she said. "OK. George,
if you don't go to my funeral, I'm not going to yours"...........
Sounds like a pretty good agreement to me.
WHAT I HEAR BEFORE I ANSWER THE PHONE
I rarely get a telephone call that means anything to me. Even though I'm on
the so-called, no-call list, my phone rings frequently with advertisers trying to sell
me something. So to avoid this needless answering the phone, I set the phone
to just ring twice then play this message ...... "OK ... You have reached GeorgieBoy
at Hillcrest. Tell him to pick up the phone and he will".
This really works great.... I never answer the phone unless I hear someone
telling me to pick up the phone. I recently noticed that I had accumulated quite
a lot of old messages from family and friends ..... even a Happy Birthday song,
So just for fun, before I deleted them, I recorded them.
If you would like to hear them, click on the little player.
I was once free to choose between the adversities of care-giving for my Dear
Helen and freedom. Without hesitation, I choose care-giving, with all the problems
and adversity associated with it.
Looking back on it, there never was a time when I doubted my choice of adversity
over freedom and I'll tell you why........As I've said before, The greatest gift life has
to offer me is happiness. That's what I live for. What else is there? .......What makes me
happy? Only one thing. A good opinion of myself..,.....
Now........What would my self-esteem be like if I had chosen freedom over care giving?
What I actually chose was happiness over despair.
And now that I'm on my soap box, I need to mention a few more things that
I've learned. The happiest people that I've known, have suffered some tragedy or
been afflicted throughout their lives by serious adversity, either born with a physical
defect themselves, or caring for a family member who is afflicted. So it all boils
down to a simple formula..... Adversity brings self-esteem which equals happiness.
Over and over again I hear this message.
Adversity builds strength.
If life was a bowl of cherries it would not be worth living.
Without bad times there would be no good times.
What message do you get from this little poem?
Whenever Richard Cory went downtown,
We people on the pavement looked at him.
He was a gentleman from sole to crown.
Clean favored and imperially slim.
And he was always quietly arrayed.
And he was always human when he talked,
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good morning," and he glittered when he walked.
And he was rich -- yes richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace.
In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.
So on we toiled and waited for the light.
And went without the meat, and cursed the bread.
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet through his head.
By Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935)
MY WEIRD BIRCH COURT PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
After moving into my little apartment here, I felt that the room temperature
was a little cold for me. I had noticed that the thermostat here was no ordinary
thermostat. It had numerous buttons and some instructions printed on the hinged
cover but nothing made any sense. So I asked the staff if I could have the thermostat
set a bit warmer.
I was told that programming the thermostat was quite complicated and that I
should just leave it on automatic and wear a sweater. The auto mode is set to keep
the temperature between 72 and 74 degrees and cannot be changed. So I would
need to use the programmable mode and reprogram it.
Well ...... Since I had not much else to do around here, I decided to see what I
could do about this. There was no name on the devise or any information about
where it came from ....... I searched the internet and could find nothing. So I had
to do what little kids do ..... Push every button to see what happens.
It truly is complicated. You have to set your desired temperature for every hour
of the day and night and for every day of the week ....... What a bunch of baloney.
Anyway ..... To make a long story short. After spending my spare time on it for
two weeks, I finally figured it out and wrote a click by click set of instructions on it.
So if anyone else is interested, it may be of help to them.
MY OWN WINDOWS SOUNDS
Yesterday, I was playing around with the settings on my PC computer and found
a way to replace all those little beeping sounds that I continually hear with whatever
sounds I choose. So just for fun, I replaced them with my very own sounds that I
had found on various family audio tapes, videos, and etc.
Now, I hear these little sounds as I work at whatever I'm doing, and am reminded
of the events in my life that created them ...... Some great memories come back to me.
To hear some of these sounds, click on the little player below.
Albert Einstein was always a great hero and inspiration for me and he often
mentioned Archimedes, who was a great inspiration for him. So naturally I had to
find out about this guy, Archimedes. Many historians consider him the smartest
guy that ever lived. And can you imagine? This was 250 years before Christ.
Hiero, the king of ancient Sicily commissioned a new crown. But the king
suspected that the goldsmith had not made the crown of pure gold, but had mixed
in some less costly silver.
The king asked Archimedes to find out if the goldsmith had pulled a fast one.
Archimedes wracked his brain to find a way to grant the king's wish, but to no avail,
until he took a bath. He noticed that water spilled out of the tub as he placed his
body in it. He then realized that by measuring the amount of water his body displaced,
he could he could find the density of his body.
He dreamed up an experiment. First he would find a bar of pure gold that weighed
exactly the same as the crown. Then he would drop it into a full jug of water. Then he
would measure the water it displaced. Then he would do the same with the crown.
According to legion, Archimedes was so excited about his new concept that he
jumped from the bath and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting ...
"Eureka ... Eurika, I have found it" ............ He was so Happy ...
He carried out the experiment and found that the crown displaced more water
than the pure gold. As the king suspected. The crown was not of pure gold.
I recently came upon this little story that
I had written about ten years ago.
WHY WE NEED RELIGION
Wow.....This is such a huge subject, I don't know if I can handle it, but with
nothing else to do, I'll give it a try. Of course it's very controversial with many
viewpoints depending on the way we think, and nuero-scientists tell us that the way
we think is beyond our control since our thinking is the result of the genes we
were born with and the situations we have faced throughout our life.
Now.....If we could get down to pure logic and common sense, and leave our
different thinking out of it, we may get to something called the truth. Lets look at
it this way.....If we were aliens from outer space, looking down upon this earth and
observing everything in a completely impartial manor. What would we see?
Obviously, the most important animal and of the highest intelligence would be
the humans, and the humans are controlling everything that they can possibly
control, in order to make the world a better place.
For the things that they cannot control, they conjure up a fictional fairy which
they call God. or Allah, or Buddha, or whatever, and this fairy controls everything else.
(I use the word "fairy" because it best describes a being that is completely imaginary.)
Humans make up stories about these fairies which are handed down through the
ages and take great comfort and peace of mind in believing them and following the
instructions that the stories give. These fairy tales promise wonderful things for their
believers, even after they die. It seems as though it's just human nature to make
up fairy tales to explain what can't be explained by reason and common sense.
And we really do need them for our comfort and well-being. Where would we
be without our religions? ....... For an answer, click on the player below.
Of course there are always those who don't need religion and make
fun of it as this little cartoon suggests.
THE 4th of JULY PARADE
I had been hearing so much about the coming 4th of July parade that I decided to
ride my little scooter down there and take a look at it. I was mainly interested to see if
there was a replacement for the "All American Firecracker Marching Band" that I organized
and played in year after year in the 80s and 90s.
Sadly, The only marching band I saw was the huge Bonita High School band, and
they were marching but not playing as they went by. There were plenty of Rock Bands
riding on big trucks with crazy sounds blaring from huge speakers. Otherwise, the parade
consisted of countless trucks all wildly decorated, with signs advertising businesses or
civic organizations, And all kinds of happy people riding on them. I even saw a big
Hillcrest bus full of residents.
The most enjoyable thing for me, was all the little kids who were riding bikes or
scooters or on foot, who were running around passing out candy and having so much fun.
I made a little six minute video of some of what I saw.
I was recently telling some of my Hillcrest friends how aging has effected me.
Can't hear much, can't see much, can't walk much or think much and etc. But there's
something else that bothers me even more.
I've lost the ability to move my fingers independently of each other. I'm not able to
play the penny whistle or my trumpet any more. In fact I can't even give someone
the finger. That middle finger just will not go up by itself ... How sad...
One of my friends suggested that I say a little prayer ...... asking the Good Lord
to at least give GeorgieBoy the ability to give someone the finger. I told him,
"I don't think the Lord will do that for me because he's the one I want to give the finger ".
........ I hope he has a sense of humor.
Dear Helen was pretty good with the finger.
I was the one taking the photo .... who got the finger.
ESMERALDA and ROMARIO
Yesterday, I received my credit card billing from AAA Financial and found that I was
being charged for something I never ordered .. ( Amazon Prime Membership, $11.95 )
.... Something I'd never even heard of. I checked it out on Amazon's website and found
it to be a monthly charge for free Amazon services which I had absolutely no use for. I
realized that Amazon had my credit card number because I had recently bought some
computer stuff from them.
Well .... after thinking about it most of the night while I should be sleeping and knowing
what a hassle it would be just to talk to a real person about this. I decided to give it a try
anyway. It took me three trys at dialing a long number, but after reaching AAA Financial
and going through the usual .... If you want this, say or press this .... I got an actual
person to listen to my problem and she told me exactly what I should do about it. She was
so nice ..... I asked her name ... Esmeralda.
I then called the Amazon number that she had given me and after the usual question
and answer thing, I was able to present my problem to a very caring, soft speaking man
who seemed to completely understand the whole thing and he went to the trouble to
explain it to me. Somewhere on the Amazon website I had pushed the wrong button.
He said he would cancel the membership and send a refund to my credit card account.
He was such a nice guy .... I asked his name .... Romario.
So here I am ...... The dreaded problem completely solved in less than 30 minutes
of my precious, valuable time. I shortly received the following email.
This is Romario the agent who assisted you today. It was my pleasure doing so !I've
canceled your Amazon Prime membership. You'll receive a refund of $11.95 for the
Amazon Prime membership fee. Refunds typically process within 3-5 business days and
appear as a credit on your statement. Please accept my sincere and unreserved apology
for any inconvenience this may have caused you
Best regards .... Romario H
Now, after reading this little story I had just written, I'm wondering about these
two kind and caring individuals with unusual names ..... Esmeralda and Romario.
Sounds like Mexican to me ........ Just the ones that our great President Trump wants
to get rid of in order to make our country great again. How sad ...... I have so many
wonderful friends of Mexican herritage.
WE ARE MEXICANS
For many years, we rented our La Verne, 6th street house to one of the nicest
couples we've ever known ....... Ray, and Linda Martinez. I will always remember a
little sign that Ray had in his garage.
WE ARE PERSIANS .... NOT IRANIANS
For several years I patronized a gas station on Foothill Blvd. They did smog checks
and other automotive maintenance there also. It was owned and operated by a nice
Iranian family but if anyone asked what country they were from. they would always say
Persia, instead of Iran. They seemed to be a big friendly, loving family and I became well
acquainted with them.
I had attached a little sound chip into the start circuit of my little truck so that on
starting it would give me a little lecture about driving safely, and I used a voice processor
to make the voice pitch very low and slow. I was sitting in their waiting room while Ari
was doing a smog check on my little truck and Ari came in and told me that he had heard
God talking to him. Of course I knew what he had heard and I said to him, "You mean you
heard Allah talking?" He said "No ... it was God .. We don't talk about Allah in this country".
To hear what Ari heard when he started my truck, click the little player.
Now ..... this little story got me thinking about Persia and Iranians and the wonderful
truths expressed in Omar Khayyam's Rubiat..... Here's my favorite.
The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.
Nor all thy piety and wit, can lure it back to cancel half a lime.
Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.........
From Omar Khayyam's Rubiat....
I try to keep this little verse in mind for everything I say or do. If I say or do
something mean or hurtful to someone, it's in my mind and memory forever.
Without much to do around here at Hillcrest, and with father's day coming soon,
I think I should write a story about my Dad. I know that all of us think that our particular
dad was the greatest dad ever. I sure do. I've already written some stories about certain
parts of his life, but now I'm going to try to sum up everything that I know about him.
His name was George Streit ..... same as me ....... He grew up in some small town
in Ohio. I think he was quite a bit on the wild side before my mom laid down the law
and told him that he would need to straighten himself up if he ever hoped to marry her.
In his late teens, he painted barns and bridges to get by, and excelled in his ability to
steal the best Tom turkeys so he and his buddies could roast them and drink beer at
their all night parties in the woods. Us kids used to play around with the buck-shot in
his legs, from some farmer's gun.
In order to win and marry my mom, he spent some time at the Cleveland Bible
Theological Seminary and upon graduating, he was an ordained preacher. He wrote
letters to all the farmers that he stole turkeys from and we have letters from four of
the farmers who answered him. Those letters are priceless ...... I wrote a story about
them on the JUST STORIES page.
After marrying our mom, he became the first of his extended family to leave Ohio.
He became a preacher for several small churches in California, but as his family grew he
had to give up the preaching business as it didn't pay enough to support his growing family.
That's when he became a salesman for Jeffers and Meek Ford dealership in Redondo
Beach, In those days, to sell a car you needed the teach the buyer to drive it. I think my
dad did well at this and he became well known in Redondo for his activities in the church and
various social groups and was president of the Rondo Beach school board. He was a great
leader with the Friendly Indians. (similar to the Boy Scouts)
In the early thirties, his family had grown to six children and the great depression
was upon us. No one was buying Fords and and we were barely getting by. Dad got himself
an insurance brokers license and tried selling life insurance, but didn't have much success
at it. The kindly old man who owned the house we were renting told my dad, "Don't worry
about paying the rent, George, You can stay as long as you want".
There were times when somebody would leave groceries at our doorstep and ring the
door bell and run. We kids would joyfully grab the packages to see what goodies were inside.
I remember my dad, standing on the steps for a long time, looking up the street as a car
was disappearing in the distance.
In the year 1936, things were starting to get better but the worst was yet to come.
Sister Audrey, who had been struggling with an asthma problem for a long time, became
much worse, and the doctors said she could not survive in the beach weather. Poor Dad
...... What could he do? With nowhere to turn, he got into his little Ford and drove inland
and looked around in various towns and chose Pomona because it was a small town but
had 48 churches. He found an old house in So. Pomona he could rent for 18 dollars a month.
Luckily, Dad had a close friend with a big truck and he moved us at no cost.
So ..... Here we were at 811 So. Park Ave. in an old house that was built before they
had plumbing and electricity in houses ...... All the plumbing pipes and electric wiring was
attached to the surface of the walls. It was a big lot and even had a barn. It was nothing
fancy, but had everything we needed ..... fruit trees ..... chickens ...... vegetable garden
...... friendly neighbors with lots of kids.
Dad trued selling insurance but switched to real estate and was starting to do well
at it but after a year, another tragedy hit him. .... Tuberculosis .......Bedridden ...... Could
hardly breath. .... He was placed into the Olive View Sanitarium which was a county
Tuberculosis rest home, about 30 miles from us. I don't know how our family survived
financially. My sister, Audrey and I both had various jobs to earn a little and there were
friends from our church who helped. Also, I think my dad had many friends who were
concerned about us.
After about six months, Dad was released from Olive view but he only had one lung,
The other was completely collapsed. He was weak but very determined and he continued
working in real estate. He would borrow money to purchase certain property. Then fix it
up a little and resell it for profit . He soon was able to buy a nice home for his family and
we moved out of the rental and into it.
Dad had to get himself a building contractors license because he was doing so much
remodeling. He had a nice bunch of subcontractors that worked for him and he would find
an old grove and subdivide it and build houses on it. He was doing this during World War 2
and putting up with all the restrictions and lack of building materials during that time.
He created four small subdivisions ... Building on some of the lots and selling some of them.
Even though he was doing all this building, he kept active as a real estate broker
Dad told me of what he considered his once in a lifetime, greatest real estate deal.
He had sold an old 20 acre orange grove that wasn't producing any more to one of his
friends. The grove was located on the east side of Gary Ave. North of Pomona city limits.
After about a year, his friend called him and said that he was unable to keep making the
payments due on the loan and was going to give it up.
He offered it to my dad and my dad accepted it, realizing the value of it's location on
Gary Ave. Dad said he could hardly believe what happened only two months after be
bought this land. The city of Pomona contacted him saying that they were expanding
the city limits and were planning to widen Gary Ave. and wanted him to donate thirty
feet of his property along Gary Ave. Well. Dad was no dummy and as it turned out, the
city paid him more for that thirty foot strip than he owed on the loan. So Dad ended up
with almost twenty acres of prime commercial property, free and clear. And he had only
made two payments on the loan.
After receiving this gift, Dads' long financial problems were gone forever but he
seemed to be so caught up in building and real estate that he could not quit.
Dad also became deeply involved in the Building Contractors Association and rose through
the ranks to become it's president, We have photos of him with two governors of California
and other political leaders as he was advocating for legislation to help the building industry.
Dad continued to be very active in local Pomona organizations like the Chamber of
Commerce, the YMCA and even had a building named after him at the local Boy's Club.
Now, There's more to this story, but I can't remember dates very well.
I'm guessing that my Mother passed away at 75, and my Dad at 80.
I'll have to check with my sister Audrey.
Mom, Pop, Forever in Love
MY COMPUTER SINGS TO ME
With all the singing I've been listening to here at Hillcrest, I've been thinking about
singing and the benefits of both doing it and hearing it. Since I can't really sing anymore,
I found that I can get my computer to sing for me.
Usually, when I'm making one of my great songs, I just say the words and my
computer program will give them any pitch I choose, but once I got my computer to
sing a song without me uttering a single word. The computer actually created the words,
then gave them the pitch.
It was a long time ago, when I was using a Comador 64 computer and I think the
program was named "Sound O'Lei". The program explained that speech is composed
of vowels ...... like, a,e,i,o,u .....and consonants ...... like, p,f,r,w,h, And all I had to do
was type them into a time frame, giving them a start time and a length time, and give
the vowels the proper pitch.
I remember it being quite a tedious and long procedure but I was very much interested
in what it would sound like so I had to do it once just to satisfy my curiosity. For the
repeat strain, I made three tracks and gave them harmony pitches so it would sound
like a trio. I think I did pretty good with this. I like to listen to it.
If you would like to hear this song you can do so. And remember. this is not anyone
singing. It's just the computer, following my instructions.
Just click on the little player below .......
HILLCREST WOODS RESIDENCE WATCH THE PARADE 2012
I found this little video that I had made five years ago and thought it might be of
interest here at Hillcrest. I was visiting my Dear Helen every day while she was a
patient in Woods and when they took her to see the 4th of July parade, I followed
them down there and shot this little video.
I'm still amazed at how a bunch of kindly Hillcrest volunteers did this.
She said .... "THANK YOU FOR TALKING TO ME"
As I was walking back to my room after finishing my exercise class, I came upon a
little lady standing in the hallway behind her little walking cart, near the upper Birch Court
meeting room. She appeared to be hesitant and confused so I made some casual remark
and started a conversation.
She told me that she had come there for her first time to join in some meeting room
activity but the room was empty and she was wondering if she had mistaken the date
and time of the activity. There happened to be a nearby sign listing the daily activities
and I showed her that the activity was listed but she was 15 minutes early. She was very
relieved and started telling me a little about herself.
She told me that she was 96 years old, born in the year 1921, The same as me.
We talked for a while until others started arriving in the meeting room, and as we parted,
she said .."Thank you for talking to me". As I continued on my way, I was thinking about
this little lady and why she would say that.
Is it necessary to thank someone for doing what comes so naturally?
MY BATHROOM FRIEND
About a month ago, as I was sitting on the bathroom throne, I noticed a little bug
making his way along the wall next to me and as he got closer, I'm thinking ..... I don't
need bugs in my bathroom ........Should I put my foot on him? ...... Then I remembered a
quote by some famous person .......... "I would never have on my list of friends, anyone
who without reason, would snuff out the life of one of the least of God's creatures"
Well .......I decided to stay on the list of friends and as the tiny little guy disappeared
under the baseboard, it got me thinking about this little bug ....What was he doing here?
Where was he going? Does he have a family? . If he could do it .. would he snuff out my life?
Since then, I've seen him several more times and am amazed that he doesn't seem to
be frightened of me. He just goes about his business, traveling the same route. I put some
bread crumbs out for him in case he was hungry but he just smelled them and continued
on his way. It looks like I've got me a nice little pet to keep me company ........ Even though
he doesn't answer me when I talk to him, I know he's listening to every word I say........
I took a little photo of him.
SOMETHING MORE ABOUT GOD'S CREATURES
I recently found a little video clip on the internet that got me thinking more about
God's Creatures. It was entitled "Crow Rescue", and was taken at the Budapest Zoo,
showing a bear rescuing a little crow who was drowning. One of God's Creatures
demonstrating love and care for another of God's Creatures.
I was so fascinated by this little video and the story it told that I spent some of my
not so valuable time editing it and fixing it up a little. So here is my YouTube video.
P.S. ...... The original "Crow Rescue" video was sent to me by my internet friend, Wolf,
so I sent him this link to my version of it. I was stunned and amazed at his response.
Wolf is truly an expert at putting his thoughts into written words. I've always loved his
thoughts. They're incredible.
My friend, Dick Todd, told me that when he realized that he was a slow reader, he
decided to do something about it. So he enrolled in a Night School speed reading class.
When he started, hey gave him a reading test and told him he was reading 155 words
per minute with 92% comprehension. When he finished they gave him another test and
told him his speed was up to a whopping 552 words per minute. Dick was so happy.
Later ....... He read the full test report and found that it was 552 words per minute
with 26% comprehension. His wife did a little math for him and told him that on both
tests, he was comprehending 143 words per minute.
I think I'm in the same boat with Dick. Our brains can only think at slow speed.
ANOTH ER DICK TODD STORY
Dick Todd and Bob Manning were close friends who enjoyed hiking the San Gabriel
mountain trails together. Dick told me about a time when they were hiking the trail up
to San Gorgonio Peak. They had stopped for a rest and were looking back down the trail
and saw a big black bear on the trail about a mile behind them.
They weren't too worried about him because be was so far away. But when they
stopped again for another rest they noticed the bear was only about a half mile behind
them. It was then that they became concerned about the bear because they had heard
that these Rocky Mountain bears can sometimes be very aggressive and vicious. They
increased their hiking speed as much as they could, but after another pause and look
back they noticed that the bear was even closer.
Bob sat down and pulled a pair of tennis shoes from his back-pack and proceeded to
remove his hiking boots. Dick said to him "Now Bob .... even with tennis shoes .... do you
think you can outrun a bear?"...... Bob answered him......"I know I can't outrun the bear,
but with these tennis shoes, I can outrun you".
HOW GREAT CAN I GET ?
I've written stories about everything else. Now it's time for what I have to say about singing,
The first singing I can remember was in kindergarten when our teacher would sing
the "Good Morning Dear Children" song and we would sing "Good Morning Dear Teacher" for her.
After that, it was continual glee club until I had the option to choose orchestra or band.
Once, when our 4th grade class was singing on the school auditorium stage for a
Thanksgiving day performance. I was in the back row and I could't see over the other heads
so I got myself up on a nearby log so I could see and be seen but the log rolled and down
I went with a loud bang. It caused quite a commotion and interrupted the singing. My
parents were embarrassed but others in the audience thought I had stolen the show.
I think it was my best singing performance ever.
I still consider myself a singer but since I became so interested in what I could do
with music on the computer, I rarely sing anymore. I've made many songs just saying
the words and the computer would give them perfect pitch and add harmony voices, I can
sound like a child or a lady or a grumpy old man, singing a duet, a trio, or even a chorus.
If you would like to hear what my singing sounds like when using the computer, go to
the "Audio Songs" page. If you would like to hear what my natural singing voice sounds
like, you can listen to me singing a little song that I made for our Lions Club. Just click on
the player below,
If you would like to hear me singing with some of my friends, Click the next player.
Without much to do here at Hillcrest, I keep going through old
stories that I had shared with my caregiver friends on the internet.
I found this one that I had written a few years ago when I was only 93.
WHAT I DID YESTERDAY
...... Here I am....... Helen's been gone for two years and eight months
and the memories of our 67 years together seem no more than a
happy dream, and I've written so many stories about them, but now
I'd like to tell a story about what I did yesterday.
..... All by myself.......Just me and the cat........No need to get dressed
up, I've been wearing what they call pull up pants with elastic waste
band. For three years I've been wearing two of them, and they were
getting full of holes so I decided I would go down to the Target store
all by myself and see what I could do about it......( I believe in
pushing myself as much as possible to do what I can because if I
don't do it, I'll soon loose the ability to do it).
.....I walk with a cane and it's pretty slow. More like hobbling than
walking, so it took me a while to hobble back to the men's clothing
area and on the way, I passed the women's clothing and 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.
.....In the men's clothing section I couldn't believe how many
different kinds of pants were on display, and I don't think I could
ever have found what I was looking for without the help of other
shoppers, Especially a little high-school girl and her boyfriend who
were looking to find something for him to were at the school dance.
.....In front of me at the check-out stand was a mother and daughter
with a big heavy box in their cart and they were trying to lift it onto
the counter. I wanted to help them and told them so, but they took
one look at me and said, "No thanks". I asked what was in the box
and they said that it was pots and pans and that the daughter was just
recently married and starting a home of her own. I told them that I
had pots and pans galore that I had no use for and they were
welcome to come by and pick them up. The daughter thanked me
but said she wanted everything to be new.
.....As I was hobbling across the parking lot to my car, a man came
up alongside me and said something like, "I sure hope I can do as
well as you when I get to be your age," and then asked me how old I
was. We talked as he followed me to my car and I found out that he
was twenty years younger than I and his wife had recently died of
cancer and that he lived only two blocks from me. He saw that I
didn't need any help and as he turned to walk away, I called him
back and told him I had something more to say to him. I basically
told him this..........
....."I'm not going to tell you that you are a kind and caring person
because you cannot help but already know that. I know that the
reason you spoke to me was that you thought I might need some
help. I also know that in spite of loosing your dear wife you are a
happy guy," Then I gave him my favorite Emerson quote............
"Happiness is a perfume. You cannot pour it on others without
getting some on yourself".
.....So that's what I did yesterday.... Through it all I was trying to do
as my dear Helen always did...........Talk to people........ What did I
do today?......Not very much but at least I wrote this story...
..................Sorry it's so long.......Old GeorgieBoy
As I was looking through some old papers I came upon this cartoon which I
remember cutting from the Progress Bulletin about sixty years ago.
I think it's funny but after moving into Hillcrest I think it's in bad taste and I tried
to remove it but that created another problem so I had to leave it here.
THE ELLIOTT THOMAS STORY
Yesterday, at lunch, Chuck asked me if I remembered anything about the time when
my dad was president of the Redondo Beach School Board and Elliott Thomas was
Superintendent of Schools. I hadn't heard the name, Elliott Thomas, for 80 years and was
amazed at how that name and the story behind it immediately came back to me. I think
I was about 16 yrs at that time. I was also very curious as to why my brother-in-law.
Chuck, would ask me that question.
Here's the story as I remember it.
One evening, the school board of trustees were having their monthly meeting at
the home of one of the members when Elliott Thomas said that he had forgotten to bring
some important papers. He said that he would run down and pick them up from his office
at Central School and he would be back in ten minutes. Well ...... He never came back
...... After waiting over an hour, My dad and another board member went down to Central
School to check on him and found an unbelievable tragedy had taken place there.
Elliott's car was at the curb with the parking lights on and lights were on and doors
wide open in the office and hallways and everything was a horrible mess with furniture
and office equipment thrown all over the place. I looked like Elliott had surprised some
thieves and there must have been a mighty fight. Elliott was nowhere to be found.
On hearing of this tragic event, everyone was shocked and felt so bad for Elliott and
his wife and children but it was in the hands of the police, and as the search and investigation
dragged on for a month, It was continually on everyone's mind and well covered
by the newspapers. My dad was especially distraught as Elliott was one of his best friends.
Well ......... I now have to tell you the unbelievable end of this story. The police search
dragged on for months, but they finally found him .. living very happily with his girl-friend
in far away Oregon.
I don't know what he was charged with but I know he spent time in jail because my
dad would visit him. And the reason that Chuck asked about him was that be happened to
be a graduate of the University of La Verne.
UNITED NATIONS MARCH by Alan and Margret
This Karl King march was always our favorite because it was very tuneful and easy to
play and we also liked the name. Our great marching band played it for five years in
La Verne's annual 4th of July parade and always won the marching band trophy.
Alan and Margret produced a wonderful version of it using just a guitar and a
mandolin........... Click the little triangle on player below to hear it.
If you would like to hear what it actually sounded like, played by our All American,
Firecracker, Marching Band on parade....... Click the player below..
I received this same email from two different friends on the same day and I liked
it so much that I printed out a few copies to share with my Hillcrest friends. I was very
much intrigued as to where it came from. And after some Google searching, I found it
on the Gaston County Gazette website. (a newspaper in No. Carolina). It was mailed
to them anonymously, without a title ....so I gave it one.
BENEFITS of GETTING OLD
Old friends are like quilts-they age with you, yet never lose their warmth.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they
understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or
sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the
50s, 60s & 70s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.
I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will
dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from
the jet set. They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well
forgotten. And, eventually, I remember the important things.
Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break,
when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's
beloved pet gets hit by a car?
But broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion.
A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to
have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.
So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.
I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I
have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not
waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.
And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like).
MY FAVORITE IRISH JOKE
Well .... Today is Saint Patrick's Day so I have to tell everybody my
favorite Irish joke.
My old friend Frank Pavia told me that when he was growing up in
Boston, all the policemen were Irish, and when they finally got one Italian
policeman on the force, the Italian community had a huge celebration. This
joke comes from that Italian community.
Once..... one of these big Irish policeman came upon a little Jewish boy
on the street and said to him. "Hey little jew-boy, what do the Rabbis do with
all the foreskins they chop off you guys?" The little jew-boy answered him,
"I understand they send them over to Ireland where they plant them, and
when they grow into big pricks, they send them back here to Boston and make
policemen out of them".
HOW GEORGIEBOY CREATES WHAT HE CALLS MUSIC
For some of my curios friends around here, I thought I would see if I could make
a little video showing how I make all the dumb songs that I enjoy making. Right now,
I'm using "Music Creator 7". They call this the Piano Roll view.
As you can see, the piano keyboard is shown on the left and I just draw the
notes using the mouse pointer where I want them, in line with the keys on the piano.
I drag the mouse pointer to the right to make the notes sound longer.
The trumpet melody notes are the green ones at the top. The piano notes,
Now ............ The above song is pretty simple. Using only two instruments. A trumpet
playing the melody, and a piano playing the bass and chords. This next song is using a
melody with harmony, a bass and the chords, a clarinet playing runs and trills, a counter
melody, and a full set of drums. Seven instruments playing together, A lot more notes
and a lot more fun ..........
If you would like to hear this song when completely finished, with singing voices added,
click on this player.
Now ............. How did i add the voices to this song?. I recently made a little video
and put it on YouTube so some of my Email friends could understand how I made all
my Not So Good Songs. It shows how I added singing to my songs.
GEORGIE-BOYS FAVORITE ANSWERS
Everywhere I go ....The friends I meet always say hello. Then ask how I'm doing.
.... Answering questions like this is difficult for me because it causes me to think.......
Why don't they just say "Hi George" and let it go at that?
Thinking has always been difficult for GeorgieBoy, so after giving it some serious
thought, he came upon a way to avoid so much thinking. He made a list of all the possible
answers to this question and put it into his little head. The following, is his list of answers.
GeorgirBoy went through his second childhood a long
time ago. He's now on his fifth........
How old is GeorgieBoy? ..... He's old enough to know
better, but he still dosen't know better .......
GeorgieBoy never reads the instructions. He just does what
little kids do. He pushes every button to see what happens.
GeorgieBoy never locks his door. There's nothing in there
worth stealing ........ except possibly his candy.
Poor GeorgieBoy ..... He's almost completely used up
the old body that he's been living in for 95 years.
His eyes can barely see ..... His ears can barely hear.
......... His legs can barely walk ... .... His little brain
can barely think........ The only thing he's got that still
works is his big mouth.
Since he's almost deaf, he has to speak loud so he can
hear what he's saying. ... And even though he listens
carefully to everything he's saying. he still doesn't know
what he's talking about.
GeorgieBoy has a problem with his mouth. It won't shut up.
He's still alive at Ninety-seven.........
Just hanging around for meanness...........
They say there's a time to laugh and a time to cry.
GeorgieBoy's time to laugh is when he gets up in the
morning and looks into the mirror ..... His time to cry
is when there's no more candy.
GeorgieBoy loves to write stories because they give him
something to read that he wholeheartedly agrees with.
And while reading them he marvels at the intelligence
of the writer.
GeorgieBoy never locks his little place here in
Birch Court. He doesn't even know if he has a key.
He says there's nothing in there worth stealing except
possibly his candy.
Oh, GeorgieBoy ....... What are we gonna do with you?
The wife of one of my Hillcrest friends was recently placed into Woods, long term
care with the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. This is exactly where my dear Helen ended
up five years ago with vascular dementia. We were discussing these horrible diseases
and I gave him this story that I had written about another friend of mine.
Jim Crabtree was an internet friend that I became acquainted with through an
internet, Alzheimer's website. Jim was an old timer in the group who's wife, Rita, was
in Alzheimer's late stage six and Jim posted a terrible story that we could hardly believe.
As usual, Jim had dropped Rita off at his folks house on his way to work. His dad
would care for her during the day, since she could not be left alone. I should mention
that Jim's mother was also a dementia invalid with some bone disease and was on
continual morphine for pain, which meant that Jim's dad was caring for both his wife
and his daughter in law. .Both in terminal stage. And on top of all that, dad was
starting to show signs of Alzheimer's himself, and from experience, he was fully aware
of what that meant for his son, Jim.
Around noon one of Jim's coworkers mentioned to Jim that he had heard on the
radio news that there had been a murder, suicide in Hacienda Heights and that three
people were dead. Suspecting the worst, Jim rushed over there and found that his dad
had shot both the ladies and then turned the gun on himself.
In spite of losing the three most dear ones in his life. Jim found the strength and
courage to be interviewed at the scene by KTLA, TV, because he said he wanted to raise
awareness for Alzheimer's disease. I watched the ten minute video on KTLA's website,
taken at the scene. It was very emotional for Jim, but he did very well explaining the
horror of Alzheimer's and dementia.
I can't forget about this easily, but maybe I can look at it this way....Four people
have gained freedom from a miserable life caused by a horrible disease.....
Now .... Four years have passed and Jim has posted again on thralzheimerspouse
website .......... Judging from his post, he has not made it back to a normal way of life.
Still, never ending grief. So sad ......... but that's Alzheimers ..........
THE MACHINE GUNNER
One of the first guys I became acquainted with after moving into Hillcrest was Bill.
It happened to be Veterans Day and Bill and I were telling about what we did when
were heroes in the military service during world war two.
I told Bill about my four years in the army signal corr. Most of it in Alaska and
the Aleutians. Nothing very different or unusual in my story. Then Bill told me his
story about his experience in the infantry.
Bill told me that he was raised in a rural community where everyone liked guns
and game hunting. Bill said that early in his army training, he became infatuated
with the machine gun, And since he was very mechanically inclined and had shown
himself to be an excellent marksman, he was made the one and only machine
gunner for his squad. Bill was so proud.
After many months of training and preparation for battle, his infantry company
was landed on an island where the Japanese enemy was known to be active. Bill
said that everyone was really jittery and on edge as they rapidly left the beach and
proceeded into the jungle and when they finally came upon what looked like enemy
soldiers. It was pure bedlam with wild gunfire everywhere.
It was then that Bill met the real Bill. He could not bring himself to shoot anyone.
His commander was screaming at him to shoot.....shoot, shoot ..... But Bill just
could not do it. As a result of this incident, they took the machine gun away from
him and he was looked upon as a sissy and a disgrace to his squad and his country.
To make a short story of this, Lets just say that Bill loved the machine gun but
not the purpose for which it was made.
Machine Gun Bill
THE JURY SUMMONS May,2016
Guess what I got in the mail today ......... A notice from Juror Services Div.
telling me that I'm in immanent danger of being fined or incarcerated or both for
not responding to the jury summons. They gave me a website address and a phone
number to call and I tried both of them, but after three hours of searching, I could
not find any instructions pertaining to my case, and no live person to talk to.
I guess I'm about to be fined or incarcerated or both. It should be an interesting
experience for me because I've never been in jail before.
P.S. When I moved into Hillcrest, I reregistered to vote. My son who
is a dentist told me that he never registers to vote and he is never called for jury duty.
His dentist and doctor friends do likewise They cannot afford to shut down
their practice for jury duty. On the other hand, I know some retired or unemployed
people who love jury duty....... And they even get paid for it.........Why don't they
Just let those who enjoy it do it?
(Another way to look at it) ... When you go into court, you are putting yourself
in the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
Now ... After giving this some deep thought, I really think they should do
away with the jury system and let the judges handle it. I still remember the O.J. jury.
THE GIFT OF LEARNING
At this stage of my life, I often look back upon it and wonder what I would be
doing now if I hadn't gone through that terrible dementia trip with my dear Helen.
Did that ten year experience change me? There's no doubt that I've changed
considerably, but is it just old age, or is it because of what I've gone through as a
caregiver?.......This is my conclusion.
It's been a great learning experience....... I've learned so much that never
would have entered my mind otherwise. I've learned some things that are of
great value in my life .......Here are a few of them.
After witnessing my dear Helen and others with dementia, struggling so hard
and painfully just to think, I've learned to cherish that god given ability to be able
to think. No matter what my situation, I feel blessed that I'm able to think.
After many bad times with my dear Helen, she taught me patience. I learned how
to wait. A very simple and valuable trait. I can accomplish so much if I just patiently wait.
After eight months visiting her every day in Woods long term care, and becoming
close to others there, I learned the value of a few kind words and a gentle touch. I
never dreamed it would do so much for myself and others. Everywhere I go, I find
something friendly to say to whomever.
In my search for solace and compassion, I found a wonderful website, named ,
thealzheimerspouse.com ... and after browsing there for a long time, I got up the
courage to join in the discussions. I learned the value of communicating with others,
and putting all my problems out there. It was so comforting just to know that
someone cared. And now that my sad trip is done with, I enjoy offering my support
to other caregivers.
I had never dreamed that I could write anything. But somehow, I learned to
enjoy writing and even made this little website just so I'd have a place to put my
stuff. It never would have happened without the dementia trip.
I've heard that adversity builds strength, but I think it also offers great insight
and knowledge. Now ....after realizing what I've been through, I consider myself
a survivor, and have a feeling of self-worth, and that people like me.
What greater gifts could an old man ask for?
I don't want to sound morbid, because I'm really not that way, but living
here in Hillcrest old folks community, I read a lot of obituaries. Five years ago I
put a lot of thought into writing one for my Dear Helen and now I'm thinking I
may have some fun writing my own.
GEORGE'S OBITUARRY .... By George
Finally..........George got himself out of here. It took a long time and a lot
of effort but he finally made it. Since I'm the one who happened to know George
better than anyone else, I think it best that I be the one to write his obituary.
I really did know every little thing about him. Also it's nice that George won't
have to worry about what someone else might say about him.
I don't think there was anything much different or unusual about him. He just
thought and acted as he was programmed by the DNA he was born with and the
situations he faced throughout his life, Having no control over any of it.
His DNA gave him the gift of curiosity and a small brain to think with, and the
situations gave him something to be curious about and think about. The one thing
he was most curious about was happiness. He had a real hang-up about happiness.
He searched for it everywhere. He read about it, wrote about it, talked about it.
His little website was overloaded with his stories about happiness. Every thing he
did and every word he spoke was somehow related to happiness and making
himself happy. I think George stumbled upon the secret ingredient of happiness
and used it very well to his advantage.
The actual things George did throughout his life were all just for himself and
his Happiness. And that's all I know about George...........
P.S. .... George doesn't want no funeral .... just a celebration of his cremation.
About 25 years ago, when I was visiting my daughter, Wendy, and her husband,
Bob, Bob was depressed because his big TV was not working. and he had to watch
the football game on a little TV. The big TV was a huge console model that probably
weighed 150 lbs. The screen would light up but no picture. Bob told me that two
weeks ago when it quit working, he called the TV repair shop and they picked it up
but couldn't find anything wrong with it so they brought it back and charged him
sixty dollars. It was working fine until yesterday when it went bad again. I then
realized that Bob wanted my opinion about what he should do so I told him..........
"Let's look at it this way..........What actually happened to the TV? First they
came to your house and unplugged it..... then they took it for a ride ...... Then they
plugged it in again" .... Right then, my grandson. Todd, (6 yrs. old) who had been
sitting there listening,, jumped up and went over to the TV,.....unplugged it and
plugged it back in again and Presto! .... it was working.
Nowadays, everyone knows that's the first thing we do when an electrical
appliance or computer fails. With computers, we can reset them back to their
factory condition which removes all the bad and broken bits we have mistakenly
placed in them.
Now nuero-scientists are working to find a way to reset the human brain back
to its factory settings ..... Like when we were born. Maybe someday we won't have
to incarcerate and kill the bad guys who have acquired bad and broken bits in their
brains. We will just reset their brains back to their factory conditions and they can have anothe
r chance at the good life. Of course when reset, they will be like little
babies and will have to learn from the start as babies learn. But at least we wont
have to kill them.
I'll have to include this in my dream for a better world........
NIGHT AND DAY URINATION
I probably shouldn't be writing about this ...... But what have I got to loose?
Recently, my sister and I were talking about the problem of frequent urination
during the night, but no problem during the day. This was effecting both of us in
our old age.........She 96, me 95. Why.....an overactive bladder during the night
and not the day? My sister said she asked her doctor about this and he told her
that "It's just because at night you are so relaxed and don't have anything else
to think about"........ I searched the internet for the answer, but all I found was
countless reasons for an overactive bladder but no reason for the difference
between night and day.
Now ...... I'm wondering how many other seniors here at Hillcrest may have
the same problem as my sister and I? ............ So this gives me something to
write another story about.
Helen and I used to drive to Fresno to visit relatives and we always stopped
at a certain little restaurant and gas station for lunch and a little rest. Once...for
some reason I needed to go to the bathroom really bad and was anxious to get
to the gas station so I could use the rest-room. I could hardly hold it. So on arriving
there I rushed to the rest-room and found a sign on the locked door that read
"Rest-room out of order" .......... Strangely, I immediately lost the urge to go to
the bath room.
..........Something else I've noticed.... When I'm in my little apartment, I go to
the bathroom about every two hours, but when I'm away I never have the urge
all day long...............Is this a psychological thing or what ? ......
Now of course this little story has nothing to do with the difference between
night and day but this urge to urinate thing seems to be something that our medical
specialists don't seem to know or care anything about.
MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
Yesterday was Martin Luther King day. I've always liked that guy because of
what he had to say about love and forgiveness and the world in general. So I spent
the day learning more about him. This is basically what I learned.
Martin was a new minister in town when a young black lady named Rosa Parks
was arrested and jailed for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man
as required by city law. This law required blacks to enter the bus by the rear door
and sit in the rear section of the bus while whites used the front door and occupied
the front seats. If all the front seats were occupied, blacks were then required to
give up their seat and stand so a white person could sit.
On a previous occasion Rosa had a bad experience with the same bus driver
because she had entered the bus through the front door and the driver made her
exit so she could enter by the rear door as required by law. But when she exited,
the driver rapidly drove off leaving her standing there on the sidewalk.
All of this happened in the year 1955 in the city of Montgomery Alabama and
Martin Luther, as a new minister in town became involved and organized a bus
boycott as a nonviolent protest against this blatant discrimination. The city then
passed laws that basically made it illegal to participate in the bus boycott. Any taxi
driver who charged less for protesters to ride was jailed. Still the boycott proceeded
and many people, both black and white were jailed for supporting it.
As this situation passed through the various courts, all the way to the supreme
court, it gathered national attention and Martin Luther King and other leaders of
the boycott spent a lot of time in jail, but through it all he insisted on nonviolence
and preached love and forgiveness for those who hated him.
Finally, in the year 1956, the courts ruled against all the laws of segregation
everywhere and Martin Luther became known and his dream started to come true.
As I'm reading this, I'm thinking ...What was I doing while all this was going on?
Surely I must have known about it. In 1955 I was 34 years old, living well with my
Dear Helen and three great kids. I feel sad and guilty because I can't even remember
anything about it. Did I just ignore this shameful activity going on in our wonderful
land of the free and the brave ?
SO SIMPLE AND SO TRUE
People fail to get along because they fear each other. They fear each other
because they don't know each other. They don't know each other because they
have not properly communicated with each other......Martin Luther King
CROSSWORDS and BIG WORDS
Out of curiosity, I asked one of my Hillcrest friends what he usually did during
his free time. He said he usually spends his time doing the daily crossword puzzle
in the locale newspaper. This started me thinking about crossword puzzles.
As for myself, I never paid much attention to them because they were too
difficult for me, but I know that my sisters do them and they are a big thing with
my son-in-law, Bob. I remember times when coming to visit, the first thing Bob
would do was look for our newspaper and the daily crossword, even going through
our trash, looking for it. He could do it in five minutes.
I remember Bob's folks telling us about Bob's fascination with words. When
he was a teen-ager, he carried around a deck of cards with a big word on one side
of each card and a definition on the other side. Once when Bob's son, Todd, was
about five years old, he was playing with his cousin, Joshua, who was a few years
older. Afterwards, Joshua told us, "Boy, He sure uses big words"....... We all knew
where Todd got the big words.
One more thing about big words .......... Some people don't use them ......
I remember after President Lyndon Johnson left office, someone published
a little recorded message of him giving instructions to his tailor about how
he wanted his new trousers to be made. I don't remember the exact words.
but it was something like this ....... "Now when you make my new pants,
I want you to leave plenty of room in the crotch for my balls. I can't stand
to have anything confining my balls. I want room for my balls to hang free".
Now,..... I don't mean to be disrespectful of the words of one of our great
presidents, so I have to tell you about some other words that Pres. Lyndon
Lyndon Johnson was our president during the Viet Nam war and once during
a news conference, he explained the Viet Nam war like this .... "No matter how
many soldiers we send there, or how many bombs we drop on them, the final
outcome of this war will rest in the Hearts and Minds of the people who live there".
Now, these words, Hearts and Minds, became very meaningful to some brave
Hollywood anti-war people, and they went over to Viet Nam and made a documentary
movie showing what life was like for the Vietnamese people with bombs dropping
on them and with foreign soldiers killing villagers for no good reason whatsoever.
They entitled this documentary, "Hearts and Minds"
Although this documentary showed the undisputed truth it was considered
anti-war and un-American and was banned from showing in the movie theaters.
At this time, the Mylai massacre had happened but was still covered up. Helen
and I had to go all the way over to the University of California at Riverside to see
Later, I was able to find it on the internet, and made copies of it on DVDs to
give to family and friends. ...... I still have some of those DVDs.
If anyone would like one, let me know.
Incidentally, ... I made a full story about the Mylali massacre. It's on the
More Stories page titled, Lest We Forget Mylai.
I found this cartoon that I had clipped from the newspaper 50 or 60 years ago.
It was from a time when many poor souls were trying to escape a horrible life and sail
to the U.S. in home made boats that didn't make it.
Is this Donald Trump ... Making our country great again ?
Don't you people know this is a private beach?
PLEASURE VS HAPPINESS
Here I go again, with my hang-up about happiness, but I just can't help it
because I just thought of an excellent way to explain happiness, once and for all.
Everyone seems to agree with the philosophers and scientists that the purpose
of life is to seek happiness. But there are many different opinions of what happiness
really is. If I ask someone what makes them happy, they will usually tell me the
pleasures that they enjoy. We all know that money can buy pleasures but money
can never buy happiness. So what is the difference between pleasure and happiness ?
Well ..... I've thought about this a lot and come to the conclusion that pleasure
has nothing to do with happiness. It's completely irrelevant to happiness. My Dear
Helen always said that she was having as much fun and pleasure as she could
possibly have, but never, never, hurting anyone and I think she did very well at
finding both pleasure and happiness. Some people seek pleasure and care nothing
about happiness. Our jails are full of them.
So exactly what is this happiness that we are all seeking? ... I've written so
much about it on the Happy Stories page but to put it simply ..... For me, It's just
having a Good opinion of myself. You can call it a feeling of self-worth or self-esteem
and of course I must do good things in the world to get that opinion of myself.
I must make others happy.
How can anyone be happy without feeling that they are of some value to others?
There are many happy people here at Hillcrest and I understand how they got that way.
Now at 97 years, and having lost most of my senses and abilities, It's difficult for
me to contribute anything of value , but I'm doing the best I can to join the happy crowd
One Happy Couple
THE TROPHY WIFE
I've been here at Hillcrest for a year now. I'm getting to know some of the other
single guys and am amazed at our similarities. We all seem to be grieving over the loss
of our life's partner. And although we try to forget about her by keeping ourselves busy
with the many activities and friendly residents here, We still are having a hard time of it.
Each one of us looks back upon his own wife and considers her a Trophy Wife that
was the ultimate grand prize of all time. I personally considered it the greatest achievement
of my life that I was able to win my Dear Helen for myself. It's really hard for me to believe
that such a pretty and exuberant little girl could fall in love with just an ordinary guy like me.
And best of all, over the 66 years that I had her, she seemed to become more beautiful
and vibrant as she aged.
In the old days, I used to carry around a tiny tape recorder in my shirt pocket when
we went to a party or a gathering just to see what it would pick up. I found this little
clip on one of those tapes. The tape was an hour long and mostly nothing on it. I must
not have known it was turned on at the time. Evidently Helen and I were getting ready
to go to some event, Me in the bedroom getting dressed, and Helen in the nearby
bathroom putting on make up......This is the real Helen at her best. I listen to this often.
It's almost like she was still with me......Just click on the player below..
I also made a little video of my Trophy Wife
Last Saturday I went down to the cafe to have my usual lunch with my sisters and
found a huge crowd and everything was in turmoil.......... It happened to be the day
of the Country Fair. I got out of there as fast as I could but after thinking it over,
I remembered that I was supposed to contribute something to be sold there to benefit
Hillcrest charities. So I was thinking about what I could do to keep from feeling guilty
for not participating.
I always loved to eat candy, and as a little kid, my favorite candy was the Abba-Zaba
bar and it still is my favotite. I'm well known in our family for always bringing the
Abba-Zabas for whatever the occasion. I always keep a good supply of then on hand.
So this is what I did.
I made this little sign and attached it to the box of Abba-Zabas
and gave it to the Gift Shop........... I hope they can sell them.
At any lions club social function or fund raiser, I always
donated a box of Abba-zabs and a box of Uno bars for raffle prizes. I remember once
when Hillary won the box of Uno bars. At our next club meeting, he inquired as to who
donated the Uno bars and where they came from, Telling us that those Uno bars were
the best candy he had ever eaten. He couldn't believe that he had never heard of them
and couldn't find them in any stores.
Now......... A few years have passed and Hillary is not doing well. He has been
bedridden with some kind of cancer for three months. Lying in a rest home, without
much hope for the future.
So I went to visit him and brought along a box of Uno bars. When I entered his
room he appeared almost lifeless but when he saw the Uno bars he became a different
Hillary. With a smile on his face and a friendly greeting, we had a nice visit and when
I was leaving, he asked me to open the box of Uno bars for him and put them on his
Sadly ........ Hillary passed away a week later, but I think he passed with a smile
on his face and a Uno bar in his pocket. Whenever our Lions Club held a social
function or fund raiser, I always donated a box of Abba-zabs and a box of Uno bars
for raffle prizes. I remember once when Hillary won the box of Uno bars. At our next
club meeting, he inquired as to who donated the Uno bars and where they came from,
Telling us that those Uno bars were the best candy he had ever eaten. He couldn't
believe that he had never heard of them and couldn't find them in any stores.
Now......... A few years have passed and Hillary is not doing well. He has been
bedridden with some kind of cancer for three months. Lying in a rest home, without
much hope for the future.
So I went to visit him and brought along a box of Uno bars. When I entered his
room he appeared almost lifeless but when he saw the Uno bars he became a different
Hillary. With a smile on his face and a friendly greeting, we had a nice visit and when
I was leaving, he asked me to open the box of Uno bars for him and put them on his
Sadly ........ Hillary passed away a week later, but I think he passed with a smile
on his face and a Uno bar in his pocket.
LEARNING TO DO THE LAUNDRY
I remember the time during Dear Helen's downward decline with dementia when
it became necessary for me to do the laundry. The controls on the wash machine were
fairly simple and the labels told what they were for. But no matter what I did, I could
not get the thing to start.
Helen had no trouble with it that I knew of but she was too far into dementia to be
of any help. So being a master electrician and mechanic I proceeded to take the thing
apart to see if I could fix it. In order to get into it, I had to disconnect all the hoses and
pull it out from the wall which was not easy. Then I had to remove about 20 screws to
get into the controls. I traced the circuit with an ohmmeter through the limit switches
and controls and found a little switch at the bottom of the main rotary control that was
actuated by pulling the control knob out..
So .... after spending most of the day tearing the machine apart, I found that all I
needed to do to start the thing was to pull the control knob out instead of pushing on it.
Now ..... Here I am at Hillcrest. Doing my laundry on some different machines.
But I'm having no problems.
I ALSO HAVE A DREAM
Without much to do here at Hillcrest. I recently found this story in an old folder
from my file cabinet. I think I wrote it about ten years ago.
Today is Martin Luther King day and I have just finished reading his "I Have A Dream"
speech, which leaves me almost in tears...... and yet when I consider how far we have
come from that memorable day, I am truly grateful for the humanitarian progress e
have made. I wish that Martin Luther could be with us today to witness the great changes
his dream has helped bring about.
After thinking about this for awhile, I've come to realize that Martin Luther's
dream was about equality for people of color in America, and I decided to dream
a dream of my own.
My Dream is ..... EQUALITY FOR ALL THE PEOPLE of the WORLD
That means treating people in far away, war torn countries as our brothers and sisters
instead of droppjng bombs on them because our politicians tell us that they are our enemies.
The question is, "Why can't my dream come true?" Well....after more powerful thinking
and reading what the great philosophers have been telling us for thousands of years, I think
I've stumbled upon the answer. One word says it all .....Xenophobia .... Fear of the unknown
.....It's what kept us alive in the cave man days but those days have long gone by and
xenophobia is still with us. They say it's a natural instinct and all animals have it.
So.....What can we do about this fear of the unknown that we are all born with?
The answer is simple. We just need to get to know each other. We realize that we all
have the same blood flowing in our veins......the same brain in our heads....the same
love for family and children. So what is different about us? .....Jt two things ........
Religion and Nationality. All we have to do is get to know something about each other's
religion and nationality......And it's so easy with today's World Wide Web and high tech
communications .......Maybe my dream will actually come true.
I personally like to consider myself a Humanitarian.....with no religious or patriotic
attachments whatsoever. Exactly what my hero, Albert Einstein, said about himself.
John Lenin nailed it with his song, "Imagine" ....... Imagine a world without religion
or patriotism. We would have nothing but everlasting peace.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HUMANITARIAN AND A RELIGIOUS PATRIOT
A humanitarian does not fear or hate anyone because they are different.
In order to have an enemy, You have to be one ........ By GeorgieBoy
DON'T LEAVE EARLY
I have three sisters and one brother-in-law whom I have lunch with every
Saturday here in the little Hillcrest café. We are all in our nineties. We have always
lived close to each other and enjoyed raising our families together. So now, with our
spouses having left us, (except for the one brother-in-law), we are just staying alive
for the hell of it..... And having a great time doing so.
At lunch we have fun reminiscing the good old days and all the good times we've
had together over the years. We talk about all of our family and friends who are no
longer with us and reveal some of our long hidden family secrets. At this stage, who cares?
Oh what fun we have.
Sometimes my brother in law. Chuck, who is only 93 has things to do, and leaves
before the rest of us and then we have a good time talking about him and sometimes
my youngest sister will have to leave early so we talk about her, and sometimes my older
sister will not be there so we have fun talking about her.
As a general rule, we all realize that if we don't want to be talked about, we have
to be there and stay until the last dog is hung. Personally, I don't really mind being
talked about. but if I could hear what they say about me when I'm not there ,
I would know their true opinion of me and it would no doubt surprise me.
I'm thinking about secretly attaching a little recording devise under the table and
leaving early. Then again.......would I really want to know the truth?
REMEMBERING THE OTHER GEORGE
I still don't have enough to keep me busy here at Hillcrest so I need to write another story.
Recently I've been reading through some of the very first blogs that I wrote about my
Dear Helen's dementia trip, and came upon one that I wrote five years ago entitled
"The Other George" ...... It's difficult for me to believe this really happened.
She was in the stage of partial incontinence, where I had to dress her, bathe her, etc.
She recognized me as two different Georges. Sometimes I was the Real George and
sometimes I was the Other George. In the evenings we would sit on the sofa holding hands,
watching the TV, and she would ask me things like "What is your name?" and I would tell
her "My name is George". Then she would say "You're not George" and I would tell her
"I'm the other George" and that would satisfy her. Then sometimes she would ask
"Where's George?", and I would say "They called him and he went down to FDS".
(FDS was the place he used to work) Sometimes she would ask "Are you married?
Do you have a family? Do you have a car? How did you get into this house?" and
I would always give her an appropriate answer and she would be content. With me
playing the part of the Other George, we could spend a fairly nice evening together.
When we were playing around in bed at night, she would say things like "I'm not
supposed to be sleeping with you". and "What if George finds out about us?" And
would tell her "George won't care, he just wants you to be happy" And sometimes
she would tell me about fun things she and George did together. Other times, she
would tell me about times when George was mean to her.
Usually, the Real George was the bad guy that made her do things she didn't
want to do, and the Other George was the nice guy who sneaked into the house when
the Real George was away, and he was the one who would take her for a drive when
she was pleading to go home.
Now...... I'm thinking.....What a nice guy this Other George was. And I'm realizing
that he's still around. I talk to him often and he offers me his advice. I'm never alone
or lacking a close friend to confide in.
WHAT US OLDIES DO
Six years ago when I was only 91 years old, I was on my way to visit my
dear Helen at Hillcrest Woods long term care. I was almost there when I ran over
something and my tire went immediately flat. since I was so close, I drove the rest
of the way on the flat and after spending my usual three hours with Helen, I asked
the nurse at the desk to call AAA Roadside Service for me.
When I arrived where I had parked my little Honda, the AAA guy was already
coming up the street with a big service truck. So I flagged him down and he parked
next to my Honda and introduced himself and we had a little conversation about flat tires.
He seemed a little old for this type of work......I guess about 70.......but he looked
over the situation and found that my spare tire was also flat. Then he turned to me and
said "Now George.....tell me something.....What are you doing running around out here
causing all this trouble ?" I answered him, "Well.....I just don't have anything else to do."
We both laughed and he told me that I badly needed four new tires.....they were the
original tires on my eleven year old Honda. But he fixed me up and we both went on
our way. I took his advice and visited Costco tire store on my way home.
Now this may seem like quite an ordinary little happening, but there was
something about that question he asked me that stuck in my mind and I couldn't
quit thinking about it.... "Now George.....what are you doing running around out
here causing all this trouble ?" Exactly what am I doing ? After giving it much high
powered thought, I think I stumbled upon the answer.
What I am doing is making and causing trouble. No doubt about it. It's as simple
as that. It's what all old people do. We live our lives doing worthwhile and constructive
things and when we get old we no longer can do anything of value so if we do anything
at all, we create trouble.....And somehow, we feel that we have a perfect right to do so.
Therefor my answer was exactly correct......."I just don't have anything else to do".
WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT
While going through the very trying experience of being a caregiver for
my Dear Helen during her last years at home and at Hillcrest, Woods, I was
drawn to a website called "The AlzheimersSpouse.com". I visited there sometimes
twice every day for five years, I'm starting to wonder why I did that and
exactly what the attraction was. So I'm putting my little brain to work to see
if I can answer that question. This is what I've come up with. I see three
distinct categories here.
First ..... The caregivers who are desperately seeking help and encouragement
Second......The grief stricken who have lost their loved ones
Third.........The kind and caring helpers who have been through the above
I personally have survived the first and second categories and have been
trying to fit into the third. Since I don't have much to do anymore, I read
every word in every post and I find one subject that is crying out for attention
in all three categories. Especially the first two. The need for someone to
listen to us. The need for communication. I believe t's true not only on this
site, but everywhere in our lives.
It has always made me happy if I could make someone else happy, so
since I can't do much else right now, at least I can be a good listener. I'm
LITTLE ORPHAN ORANGUTAN
I found some photos on the internet of a cute little baby orangutan and
liked them so much. I made a little slide show of the story and the photos..
After losing his parents, this little three year old orangutan was so depressed he
wouldn't eat and didn't respond to any medical treatments. The veterinarians thought
he would surely die of sadness.
The zoo keepers found an old sick dog in the zoo park and took the dog to the
animal treatment center. The dog arrived at the same time the orangutan was there
being treated....The two lost souls met and have been inseparable ever since.
Together, they have discovered the joy and purpose of life and the value of friendship.
I don't know..... Some say life is too short, others say it is too long, but I know that
nothing we do makes sense if we don't touch the hearts of others while it lasts.....
THE HILLCREST ESCAPEES
My sisters husband, Chuck and I usually have lunch in the Hillcrest cafe every
Thursday, but since my kids gave me a little scooter for my 95th birthday, Chuck
suggested that we ride our scooters up to his favorite gourmet restaurant, Del Taco,
and celebrate the occasion and I can learn how to drive my scooter.
Well.......... Learning to drive that thing over all those sidewalk bumps is easier
said than done. I almost smashed it up several times. But Chuck knows how to do
everything and is a great teacher and I'm a great pupil. I think I did pretty good
on my first escape from Hillcrest.
After our gourmet lunch at Taco Bell, we ventured across Foothill Blvd. to a huge
drug store named CVS Pharmacy. I think this store covered five acres and I really had
a good time riding my little scooter all over the place and ended up buying a bunch
One lady noticed the flag on my scooter that said Horrible George and inquired
about it. I told her that my friend and I were escapees from Hillcrest and the Horrible
name came from my being such a great writer of horrible songs.
If it's a hot day, Chuck may appear a little different than the above photo.
JUST CLICK ON A TITLE TO GO THERE
End of page ........ Aren't you glad ?