Those of us who reach retirement age are lucky. Ones like me (over 90 years old) have had unusually good luck. Some of you who have thanked me by e-mail, telephone or in person when we’ve met are partially responsible for my continuing to write these Superior Telegram columns. Thank you.
Memories are made for times like this. Some readers may remember or even have records of that song and title. Dean Martin was one, but the song’s popularity brought it vocally out by many singers of the day. At my advanced age, the need to get rid of so many "keepsakes" has me discarding many of those things.
I came to Superior in 1968 and have become familiar with Bud’s poetry in the last 25 years or so. Readers of this column will remember some of his short poems that I’ve included with my column. Seemed to me that Bud’s poetry could be this column alone. As a member of the old school, I thought, and still do, that poetry should rhyme and most of what I had earlier read did, so I still lean in that direction and have enjoyed Bud’s more because of it.
Death is not a pleasant subject. It is a subject avoided by most people most of the time. It is not small talk when it affects us, or our relatives and friends. I use Google for reference purposes often — I did with death and gave them statistics to help them predict my day of death. I guess my age of 92 puts me in a special class since they responded, "Your time has expired; have a nice day!" Maybe a bit of humor is needed even when discussing this most serious subject.
Most Americans say and many believe that we provide free public education for all our nation’s children. That is not a 100 percent true statement, and I’d like to explain to you why. Our main source of income for schools comes from the local property tax. State equalization support runs about 7 percent since I’ve been in education. That support is called equalization because it equalizes, partially.
I don’t recall if I’ve done an opinion piece on the golden rule previously. Could there be a more appropriate topic in today’s world? It doesn’t sound much like our American capitalistic society today, does it? Capitalism spends its efforts doing money deals to them before they do it to us. I need to give credit where credit is due. Bud Brand, local Superior poet, sent me this short, concise summarizing poem, which he titled, "The Golden Rule." If a man would ever take a stand,
"When" means different things to different people under different circumstances at different times. It is often an excuse for avoiding details. I’ll get that done when — sometimes "when" never comes. Older folks read the Telegram and are more apt to read this column. When is a word that is used often by older folk. Some of us are old enough to have even heard Kate Smith when she made that old western song a favorite, "When the moon comes over the mountain."
It is in very few cases, and not for very long, that any of us has to proceed through life all alone. The wild geese flying over Superior recently pointed that out to me. The goose in the lead breaks the wind for the followers, but in due time that goose tires and drops back to the end and rests up a bit before going back to assist all flying brethren for a relatively short stint in the lead again. Helping each other is what cooperation is all about.
I’ve spent too much time of late trying to figure out why and where my get-up has gone. Most obviously, I’m not a kid anymore, but this feeling is a recent event. I need to get that "get-up" back, before it is too late. Can any of you help me?
Old folks, like me, are sometimes accused of being pessimistic. Young folks are more often optimistic, ready to go and impatiently waiting while old folks are running through a long mental list of potential problems. Is there any truth to that from your perspective? Mark Twain summed pessimism up succinctly saying, "There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist." Oscar Wilde said, a little more pessimistically: "When a pessimist has a choice between two evils, they take both."