Jimmy Carter

old man look at me now

 I’m fifty four years old.   The older I get the more I’m required to associate with very old people.   When I was still actively involved with Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s Knights of Columbus council 794, in Lindenhurst, I was constantly surrounded by a significant number of couples who were well into their seventies and eighties.    My oldest living relative, Uncle Frankie, will be ninety years old in August.   He was married to my mother’s older sister, Aunt Mary Theresa.    My parents both died last autumn when they were eighty.       I’ve learned from having to associate with them all that old age brings with it a combination of extreme good and extreme bad.     Old people can be quite a source of story telling, humor, wit and insight into bygone eras.   Because of  all the physical, financial, emotional and other problems that come with the passage of time, though, they can also be very hard to handle.   Their habits, because of the passage of time, are so irrevocably entrenched into their lives that they can’t get rid of them.     I’ve never liked the Willard Scott mentality, that refers to the very old as a hundred (or whatever) years young, as if to refer to someone as old is somehow an insult.   This does a major disservice to both the young and the old as it renders the concepts meaningless.    Language must never be exploited as an ideological tool.   It must be used only at the service of the truth.    To the degree that a culture has been infected by liberalism it inevitably respects neither the old nor the very young, the ill nor the handicapped.    I agree with what I recently read in Communio, the International Catholic Review,  that the left’s ideas, influenced by John Locke, want a world populated only by young, healthy, autonomous, self-sufficient adults.    They want a world where the only people who really count are the kind who are the equivalent of Adam before Eve showed up.   In order to be worthwhile, each individual must be entirely self-sufficient.     Our culture now puts children into school as soon as possible in order that the state can have as early and as thorough a control over them as possible.    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s claim that “It takes a village to raise a child”  is lethal to healthy family life.   The old and otherwise incapacitated, thanks to the mentality espoused in Obamacare, are subjected to treatment based on what’s cost-effective rather than on the absolute  dignity that inheres in each specific individual simply because he’s a human being.   We  desperately need more people like the little sisters of the poor, at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village, New York, and  the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, at the Little Flower Manor in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.   I’ve never liked the idea of being young at heart, as young as you feel or any other such cliche’.     That type of language reinforces the ideas, espoused by the left, that only the young are worthwhile.   I like the idea that each age range has a share of beauty, truth and goodness that are intrinsically proper to it.    I can also understand, though, that it seems so odd, and gets odder with passing time, that I’m as old as I am now.  Whenever I see my sixteen year old niece, a high school junior , or my two nephews in their twenties, I have all sorts of flashbacks to when I was that young.    It seems as if it were only yesterday.   Minutes go by too slowly and decades go by too fast.    I should really like to think that by the time I am old enough to qualify as undeniably old I shall have more of the quick-witted story-telling throwback in me than the self-pitying creep who lets his aches, pains and regrets mess up what’s left of his life.   Maybe I shall be like Arte Johnson’s Tyrone F. Horneigh character from “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in”, who’d always hit so hysterically on Ruth Buzzi’s Gladys Ormphby.     I’ve always been quite a walking anachronism anyway.   By now I know quite well that hep Larry always seems to have ideas that are much better than what real Larry puts into practice though.   I should imagine that people will find me quite seriously ornery and cantankerous.     They will be expected to put up with even more references to how my current surroundings stack up against Jackson Heights and Lindenhurst, and what the current administration is like  compared to those of Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter.    Pain and death are as scary for me as for anyone.   Eventually I shall have to succumb to them.     That will be the hardest thing for me.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/prompt-young/

Annunci

Wyoming Pa.

8thStreetBridge_02112010_05It occurred to me that because I’ve been visiting my sister’s family in the City of Long Beach, New York, for so long, I should maybe write about life in Long Beach.   Officially I’m still a resident of the Borough of Wyoming, Pennsylvania, though.    I’ve gotten to know Wyoming quite well by now having lived there since April of 2006 and I still don’t know all that much about Long Beach.    My parents were both from northeastern Pennsylvania and I’d visited the region quite regularly since my earliest childhood, until moving there a while ago.  I’ve always really enjoyed the Wyomings.   It’s an exceptionally picturesque region with extremely nice scenery.     Wyoming and West Wyoming-they share a common zip code, 18644-are such an exceptionally nice little suburban region.   There are a lot of local businesses, including stores, restaurants, doctors, hospitals and lawyers, within driving and even walking distance of my neighborhood.   They have an exceptionally nice mall only six miles away.     The borough is very close to both Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.   In northeastern Pennsylvania there are churches-Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox-all over the place.   There are many towns in the region that literally have several churches on each street.   I’d always been quite involved with Our Lady of Sorrows on Eighth Street, and St. Joseph’s on Sixth Street.   The parish is now known as St. Monica’s.    The churches, along with all the equally prominent secular organizations, contribute a lot to helping the poor, and to making things run smoothly in general.    Having met quite a few exceptionally good people in and around the Wyomings I know that the borough’s residents are as good as any I’ve ever met although they can also be as offbeat a bunch of characters as one could expect.   Considering that it’s the kind of small town where everyone knows other people’s business there’s the problem of too much gossip.     On special occasions the borough’s representatives have parades and other events to commemorate whichever milestone is referred to.    Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth President of the United States, even visited the Wyoming Monument, a landmark from the U.S. Revolutionary War.   He was only the third United States President, besides Rutherford B. Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt, to visit the monument.   There are also a few drawbacks to life in the Wyomings, though.    Northeastern Pennsylvania is a very mountainous region and winters are inevitably bitter cold with a seemingly endless supply of snow, rain and ice.  Driving in bad weather is treacherous.   Flooding isn’t so bad in the Wyomings but when it happens the surrounding boroughs are subject to quite a significant amount of damage.   Because it’s so close to the Susquehanna River, fog is quie a major problem too.  Because there are countless potholes in the roads driving even under the nicest circumstances is quite a chore.   Wyoming Avenue and other roads have a lot of traffic congestion.    Because of their history of coal mines, northeastern Pennsylvania typically has a higher than average percentage of deaths attributed to cancer.   There is a lot of radon, as well as other carcinogens in the environment.   Luzerne County in general is politically very corrupt.   If I were the mayor of the Wyomings I should be determined to make the Wyomings as safe as possible from any excessive damage from flooding.   I should also want to get something done about the potholes and traffic congestion, and to invest as much as possible into affordable health care.    The wear and tear on people’s vehicles is an absolute nightmare.   In spite of all the relatively minor inevitable drawbacks and inconveniences the Boroughs of Wyoming and  West Wyoming are quite an interesting likable environment.

JIMMY AND ROSALYNN CARTER IN WYOMING, PA.

Mother’s Day went really well this year. Although my mother has been going so frequently to chemotherapy and getting physical therapy for the past few months we all had such a good time. Mary Anne came in on the bus for a few days. Neither Steve nor any of the kids was available. Recently Steve, Mary Anne, Bridget & Sam, along with other members of his family went on a trip to Europe with his mother Barbara. They will be there for a while. I gave blood a while ago at St. John the Evangelist Church in Pittston. It was my first donation since I gave blood there last December. Last Saturday morning there was another men’s meeting for the Guardian of the Redeemer Group at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, St. Monica’s Parish, in West Wyoming. Over the course of the past week Larry, Rose, Krissy Krissy Krissy, and Krissy Krissy Krissy’s daughter Natalie came to visit us from Massapequa. A few days after that Gary and Maria came in for a visit from Massapequa too. I’m always so very happy to see my Massapequa cousins. Memorial Day went really well too. I went to the annual parade on Wyoming Avenue and Eighth Street. Gino and Eric marched in it with the Cub Scouts. Yesterday I had such an interesting time. On Sunday I read in the Dispatch that Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States, and his wife Rosalynn, were coming to the Wyoming Monument on Susquehanna Avenue to make a speech and to accept some awards. Yesterday I went to see them. It was so interesting. I heard their voices and saw them from a distance. Unfortunately it was so very crowded and it was raining but I couldn’t have had a more enjoyable experience. I parked in the Midway parking lot among lots of buses. I was forced to walk quite a distance but it was worth it.