Rounding Third ………………..


So, I’m eighty—an octogenarian—an old far.. uh, fogey –a senior citizen. That last one seems trite, because I’ve been one by today’s standards for 30 years. I have children that qualify by those standards. And yet, until I start counting my doctors, I don’t feel that ancient. I prefer the term—vintage!

Doctors? That’s another story. I have eight, and I know guys—and women—with many more. I have a general practitioner, urologist, dermatologist, gastroenterologist, orthopedist, rheumatologist, ophthalmologist, chiropractor and a dentist. You ask….. no heart doctor? No! They couldn’t find one. Problem, that is! That’s a lot of doctors to see a couple times a year, at least. And don’t ask a doctor a question across fields. That’s a no-no. Or don‘t bring up a second problem at an appointment. That’s just “make another appointment!” Boy, I miss Doc Moeller. She made house calls when I was small. Young people think we’re just kidding about that.

I guess I’m lucky I don’t have to take a lot of pills (well, I take lots of vitamins). I go to the gym—and it’s not a social call like some of the denizens. I’ve always said the person most responsible for your health and life is…you! Stay on top of things and change doctors if you have to. And live, my friends, live the best you can for as long as you enjoy it. 

I wrote a small poem on aging four years ago where I show my disdain for those who would fold us all into the same little pre-set package. We are different! It’s not one size fits all. This is called:

On Aging

Rail against the night that would enclose us, storm the walls of fear that keep us down.

Spit upon the prophet who discloses limits to the time of our renown.

Hold your head erect and ne-er give pause; leave all doubt behind with those who do.

Set your heart upon the proper cause, and signal not the time when you are through.

‘Tis no other’s priv’lege to enfold us; none secure the right to claim our time.

Disdain the limits that the scribes have told us and wed yourself to all who do hold prime. 

Brace yourself against the winds of discord; keep your promise true right to the end.

Time was never set for us by this Lord. Fight right to the finish, my dear friend. JDF

• Joke: Five surgeons are talking about what kind of people are the easiest to operate on. The first says: Accountants—when you open them up, everything inside is numbered. Second: Try electricians. They have everything numbered. Third: File clerks are the best. Everything is in alphabetical order. Fourth: Construction workers are the best because they understand if you have a few parts left over. The fifth shut them all up when he said, “Politicians—There’s no guts, no heart, and no spine and the head and butt are interchangeable.” 

• Favorite one (or two) liners: *If we were put here to help others, what were the others put here for? *History is something that probably never happened written by someone who wasn’t there. *I believe in staying in shape and I have chosen the shape of an old man. *My grandchildren think I grew up with dinosaurs—and now I am one. * Some people sneak into the gene pool when the lifeguard isn’t looking.

• Historical oddities: * The Native Americans that sold Manhattan to Peter Minuet in 1626 were from what is now Brooklyn. They say they only got paid $24 but that’s not so bad when you consider it was someone else’s land. *If you’re a Republican, don’t expect your presidential candidate to carry New York City any time soon. The last one to do that was Calvin Coolidge in 1924. * The very first capital of New York State was Kingston from 1777 to 1797. *The only crime defined in the U.S. Constitution is treason. * The marching song, “You’re a Grand Old Flag” was originally entitled, “You’re a Grand Old rag”.

*The Thousand Islands of New York and Ontario actually number closer to 1500. 

Rail on and on my friends. See you next time. — JDF


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