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Three score and ten or more

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Even Coots Have Elders, and Visiting Them is a Hoot.

I spent Monday traveling to and fro from Vancouver to The Dalles in Oregon, where we went to visit with Janet’s eighty eight year old Uncle Ken and eighty year old Aunt Vera.  Janet has been working on her Uncle for a couple of years to tell his life’s story (into a tape machine from which Janet will extract a life story.  She already did this for Ken’s younger brother, just finishing it before he passed away.)

Now, I am a self acknowledged Ole Coot (or Geezer, depending on my mood) and I worry a lot about not being able to remember much, especially about recent events, names (even of close friends), and I have even managed on one occasion to get lost on familiar streets.   Visiting with Ken (who remembers all kinds of stuff) gives me some hope that if I reach that age I too will be something more than a vegetable.

Ken spent much of his life building dams up and down the Snake and Columbia Rivers.  His children range from big league ball players to teachers of children with special needs and they keep track of him (or he them) pretty well.  His dear wife Vera spends much of her time in an electric scooter, and is a pistol.  Before I ever met Ken and Vera I had heard about them from my bride to be.  She said that one of her most vivid memories was Ken, returning from the war with his new bride who was (to a Shoshone, Idaho pre-teen) the epitome of glamour and fashion, with really beautiful well cut clothing (that showed her knees), stylish hair and high heeled shoes almost all the time. 

Ken was (and is) a really interesting man.   In WWII he was deferred from the draft because he was considered a very valuable employee of Boeing.  They told him he was deferred, so he got on his motorcycle, crossed the state line and enlisted.  After he had been in the military a couple of years they came and got him, informed him that he was no longer in the military and sent him back to Boeing where he worked on the first B29 aircraft.

Vera is a passionate genealogist, one of whose greatest frustrations is that she followed her family line into the Germany of a century or so ago and she never had the German Language to translate the records she traced down.  The two of them possess a great store of pictures, stories, and documents that are important in my wife’s family line, so we are going back in a week or so with scanner in hand to copy much of this stuff.

We are having to postpone the immediate urge to do this because I am engaged in another geezer operation.   I am going to have my upper teeth removed (I only have six left—all of them that show) and get an upper plate.  I look forward to this with all the enthusiasm of a worn out cow being led to the hamburger factory.   Just one more dang thing to forget.  I will probably spend as much time hunting my teeth in the future as  I now spend hunting my keys.

7 Comments:

At 6:06 AM, Blogger Ed said...

I never come away from reading your blog feeling young for some reason.

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

You may have to wear your teeth on a string around you neck and put them in when you need them.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Well, I can feel for you with having your teeth out. Literally I feel for you because I am going through that now. The only difference is that it is my lower teeth and instead of having a plate, I will be having a permanent bridge. I had five teeth pulled the first day and five implants done. Since then I haven't been able to keep my old bridge on so I got disgusted and had two more teeth pulled. Now I look like an old granny because I have only two stubs left and they are right at the gum line. I will have them out in a month and the new teeth will be done by the first part of May. It is the pits having to blend everything I eat in the blender, but at least I am losing a bit of weight.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

If I had enough money for implants, I'd be interested- - -
But-----

 
At 1:15 AM, Blogger M. Rigmaiden said...

Hehehe teeth, keys, hats its all part of life's fun;)

 
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