I’m Ted’s daughter, Beth, writing today with the sad news that my dad passed away over the weekend at the age of 94.
He’d been resistant to moving in with us, but a minor fall at his apartment last week finally convinced him it was time. In hindsight, the fall was likely due to a small stroke.
My dad passed with us, peacefully, in our home, with my brother on FaceTime and a Mel Brooks movie on tv. Not much more you can ask for, especially in these terrible times. I consider us all to be incredibly fortunate.
As many of you know, my mom passed away in January. Mom and Dad were married for over 50 years, and it’s safe to say that her loss was a contributing factor his passing. Her health wasn’t great, and helping me care for her was his main purpose in life. That purpose fulfilled, much of the fight went out of him.
On behalf of my dad and our family, I thank you all profoundly for your readership. From the moment I set this up for for him, Dad was incredibly dedicated to his daily postings. He loved having a creative outlet again and always got a kick out of hearing from readers. Although he liked to assume an “angry old man” persona (his words,) he was anything but. He was funny and kind and far more openminded than you’d expect someone in their ninth decade to be.
Below are a couple photos I took on our final pre-lockdown excursion. We went to the Annenberg Space for Photography here in LA to see an exhibition of Vanity Fair cover photos and then had lunch his favorite Chinese restaurant. (In the second photo he’s watching them make dumplings.)
With love and gratitude,
While the epidemic continues, and you have much more spare time, offer your help. You can make someone’s life a bit easier. Delivering necessities, visit with some friendly cheer, do some cleaning and other gifts can help others get through this critical time.
Offer yourself to needy neighbors, the elderly, shelters for the homeless, advice for nearby kids. An example is a Warwick Rhode Island police department officer, Jill Marshall. She volunteered to do neighborhood research and found an elderly woman, along with her disabled son, had nothing to eat.
Ms. Marshall took a grocery list for the family and went shopping. The local store and its employees also donated to help cover the cost of groceries. Then when store employees heard of what the police officer was doing, they donated enough money to buy $100 worth of food for the family
I’m existing in a senior facility (old age home), surrounded by coughing, sneezing, masked geezers, and the evil bug could hit me at any time. So, what can I do about it, other than sing “If I had the wings of an angel, over these prison walls I would fly…”
Determined to work through this pandemic, I’ll explain my routine while hoping other trapped oldsters will do the same. First, of course, is cleanliness. Except for washing it, don’t touch your face and wear a medical mask. Shower daily, and especially when out of the house, soap and wash hands frequently, after using public bathrooms and touching exposed metal and wood surfaces. And by the way, don’t touch people, and stay six feet away.
As a potentially brain and body befogged senior, it’s critical that you exercise both mentally and physically whenever possible. I hike for at least 30 minutes twice daily. Because actual tourist travel is so restricted now, I do it virtually with TV, videos and books. I no longer hug and kiss beloved family and friends, and wear a mask while keeping that recommended distance until the all-clear sounds.
So, follow my suggestions, and above all, keep a positive attitude that this corny coronavirus pandemic will eventually subside into nutty normalcy again very soon.
The fast-food chain offers free Nacho Cheese Doritos Locos Tacos on Tuesday at their participating locations as part of its coronavirus response. No purchase is necessary, but offer is available only while supplies last.
In this era of spreading coronavirus fears, we’re required to keep that distance away from everyone else. To cooperate with the dire regulation, here are some serious suggestions on the dangers and/or benefits:
Do sweaty exercises three times daily, and never wash your stinky clothes
Eat nothing but baked beans three times a day
Pour week-old garbage on the floor and roll around in it
Frequently hug and pet the smelly fur of an incontinent old relative or dog
Shout and curse menacingly whenever small kids come near
Instead of couples dancing, swirl like Fred Astaire without Ginger Rogers
After a long, hot walk, sit in crowded theater seat and scratch stinky feet
Never ever having intimate physical relations again
The suggested list is mostly discordant screechy noise from the past several years. Samples include Dynamite. Sucker, Trippin’, Handclap, Bug-A-Boo, Shake It, Drive By and Scream & Shout. Yuk from those of we seniors who prefer soothing oldie sounds in this era of anger, stress and being home-imprisoned by the worldwide virus scare.
Some more appropriately singable tunes, especially for we oldsters with long memories, include What A Wonderful World, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, I Did It My Way, People, Sentimental Journey, I’ll Be Seeing You and April Showers. http://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/03/20/coronavirus-100-songs-listen-while-youre-stuck-at-home
So many of we seniors are finding ourselves forced to stay home. Doctors, lawyers and presidents strongly recommend it. In some areas it’s the law, and seniors who wander outside may end up inside the local hoosegow!
I did it, and even while imprisoned in my senior community (old folks home), I proudly show it, stroke it and comb it every chance I get. So, mature guys, if you’re desperate to expose your independence and Lincolnesque profile, even during these cornyvirus prison times, grow and groom those whiskers you’ve always longed for.
Toilets (Navy calls them heads) on the two newest combat ships clog up too often. It requires the ships’ sewage systems to be cleaned frequently with specialized acids, costing about $400,000 per ship-wide flush.
A congressional audit estimated $130 billion in long-term maintenance costs on the USS Gerald R. Ford and the USS George H. W. Bush. On the subject of Navy toilets, I have memories of my own toilet experiences.
During the 1945 campaign to retake the Philippines from the Japanese, I was assigned to a Navy forward unit that established bases in the islands as Army units advanced. After we set up camp on Samar, we lived in tents. Our toilets were outside boxes, each with two sets of four back-to-back holes and no privacy.
When we squatted on them during the day, native Filipinos would walk by and pause to sell us local fruits or just offer friendly greetings. However, as we sat there we always kept our weapons with us, in case less friendly Japanese soldiers happened to appear. Let’s hope the contemporary Navy toilet problems on the aircraft carriers are flushed away quickly.
The growing seriousness and death toll of worldwide problems today caused by coronavirus is a reminder. It happened to my family 102 years ago during World War I. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected 500 million people worldwide, and killed 20 million, including 675,000 Americans.
It was the year my dad and mom married, both in their early twenties and living in Philadelphia. When he was drafted for Army service in 1917, he was rejected because of severe kidney damage, probably the result of effects of the flu. In 1920, my mom gave birth to a daughter, and in another two years my older brother. I was born in 1925.
During those years, my dad’s fragile health continued to deteriorate. Probably because of the physical damage caused by the Spanish flu a decade earlier, dad died in 1929 at age 36. He left behind my mom with three young kids, just in time for the Great Depression and following years of poverty. We can only pray this current spreading outbreak of the coronavirus won’t become so devastating to American families. http://www.cnn.com/2020/03/15/us/philadelphia-1918-spanish-flu-trnd
To prevent the spread of the worldwide illness, health officials recommend that we stay that safe distance away from each other. Of course, that’s easy to do in social gatherings, work, transportation and other daily and night time happenings.
However, should this emergency go on for many months, forbidding a vital human reproductive activity could have a devastating effect on our future. If the rule also applies strictly to married and other potentially romantic couples, the world population will suffer a serious lack of replacements. http://www.cnn.com/2020/03/24/health/six-feet-social-distance-explainer-coronavirus-wellness