How does that song go? She was only seventeen and he was one year more… Not sure why that came to mind, but maybe it was a latent reminder stirred by the old songs being played before the movie tonight. And that brings me to my first question.
If one goes out to events more often than one stays home, is s/he a cultural junkie or simply some one wanting to support those businesses that bring aspects of culture to his “neck of the woods”?
Yesterday started out relatively benign with a visit to the gym and then basically work in the office most of the day. But then a wonderful thing happened — the daughter of my good friend Sandy (a young lady about the same age as my son) called to say that she had two extra tickets for the Blue Rodeo show that was playing last night in Penticton. Well, I thought they had said that Ronnie Hawkins was also playing so this was a special gift indeed. The gift turned even more special when upon arriving at the arena, I was ushered to an upper suite looking straight at the stage, complete with a veritable smorgasbord of food and goodies — only the beer & wine required payment…
Now there was one disappointing moment — the opening act was fronted by a youngster who introduced himself as Ron Hawkins and the “less than perfect” (my words) Assassins. Well, obviously Ronnie Hawkins was not playing. However, while they had no real stage presence, the Assassins played for 40 minutes and it was tolerable. They were followed by a twenty minute break while roadies re-jigged the stage.
We then sat back, beer in hand as well as chicken wings, spring rolls and riblets, and expected Blue Rodeo to give us an hour of their time. After all, they are beginning to age. Well, another surprise — they gave us 105 minutes of non-stop vintage Blue Rodeo (as opposed to the Young Rascal concert I saw in TO a couple of years ago, these guys have NOT lost their voices). When they came back for an encore, they gave us another fifteen minutes, and then they called out the Assassins to join them in a rousing finale of about five minutes. It was a great show and if you are near one of their concerts on this tour, take it in…well worth it.
So I got home too late to write about it…but a day later, I still am impressed with the show, the musicianship and the ambiance…
Today saw a return to the ski hill. Now I’m not going to talk about my near fatal moment — because due to an exercise that my friend Bruce (who is successfully battling cancer) taught me as a way to improve my balance, I managed to stay upright through a blind hit on a ridge of snow on a cross track that also caused my skis to cross while in mid-air; and, landing on one ski I maintained my balance until I could get the other ski pointed forward and then down on the snow, all the while doing about 60 km/h. The rest of the morning was fairly okay, as I ended with 11 runs and 6,600 VM’s…
I left the hill early though in order to get down to sit in on a documentary film series that was showing ALIVE WITHIN… this is one that every person over fifty definitely should see. Moreover, it should be shown in every senior’s residence across the country. It is well directed, very factually focused, and incredibly powerful in the feelings it instills in you. It deals with the power of music and the affliction of Alzhiemers’ disease. Just a wonderful piece of film-making….
After this afternoon artistic moment, I then picked up my good friend Sandy and we headed off to another Oliver Film Festival offering, stopping en route at the Gallagher Lake pub for a solid meal. The film, The Innocents is an excellent movie as well. Based on a true story at the conclusion to WW II in Poland with the involvement of the French Red Cross, and a local nunnery. Again, the cinematography was exceptional, the acting very good, the direction excellent, and the story-line very compelling. It can get a little dark at times, but overall it is a story of hope.
A great number of events, over two days — but I wouldn’t have missed a single one, even if I had comprehended the scope of the two days. Everything was a learning moment (even if that ski run tried to kill me!!!).
One thought on “The Epistle of Q — Chapter Seventeen”
This one is closer to my heart having to find a home for my Dad. I went to facilities that were especially equipped to handle patients with Alzheimer’s and I could not bring myself to put him there. He was in the very early stages and I wasn’t convinced he had been diagnosed correctly. I managed to find a place that would take him and he settled in quite nicely and seemed happy there. One day I visited and they came to his room and asked if he wanted to go to the common room and listen to some music. I suggested that we go and away we went. Once they started playing the music, I watched his face light up when he recognized the songs and he commented that he hadn’t heard those songs in such a long time. He even tried to sing although he would be the first to admit he wasn’t the world’s greatest singer. Everyone in that room loved the music; it was the highlight of the day for them.
Fortunately my father’s prayers for a timely death were answered and two weeks after he was admitted, he had a massive stroke and he went to be with my mother. A sad but happy time for him and for me. I knew he was where he wanted to be.
In an effort to keep people active both physically and mentally to ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s and other related diseases, it is important that everyone understands that much can be done and you don’t have to be a doctor, or a nurse or care giver or whatever, you just have to care and be informed and watch for the early signs in ourselves and in those around us, whether they be family, friends, or strangers. So many people don’t want to admit that there might be a problem because of the stigma that is associated with this disease, much like mental illness, one and the same really. People have a tendency to think these things won’t happen to them, at their peril.
You mentioned that “Alive Within” needed to be seen by everyone over 65 and then you changed your mind after reflection and said that it should be seen by those under 65 and I couldn’t agree more. The younger the better. God willing we will all grow old and we have to be prepared for what is to come. Advances in medicine are happening every day in every field of medicine and we must never give up. We have been given the brains to find cures and we will. We just have to believe. I feel the most important thing we must teach our young people is that every life has to be valued and that we all have something to contribute, young and old. And we mustn’t forget our canine and feline friends and how much joy they give to those who are infirmed for whatever reason and help many people to live long and productive lives.
The last thing I want to stress is that we have to continue to educate everyone from the cradle on up to value our elders and to remember that if we are lucky, we too will be one of the “old” people.
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