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Laguna Beach

 Volume 14, Issue 5  |  January 18, 2022


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Sorry, I need a moment to bend your ear

Fair Game Toms new headshotI’ve been struggling since before the holidays with the subject of getting old. It’s not so much about me, but of course that worries me, too, it’s mostly about a loved one around me.

One of the crass sayings in life about aging is, “It’s a bitch getting older.”

Mickey Mantle said, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would’ve taken better care of myself,” or Walt Disney’s whose two cents were, “Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”

Some people, like comedian George Carlin laughingly said, “I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me – they’re cramming for their final exam.”

In that same humor vein: Bob Hope noted, “You know you’re getting older when the candles cost more than the cake,” or golfer Jack Nicklaus, who so eloquently pointed out, at least to golfers, “The older you get the stronger the wind gets – and it’s always in your face.”

Some with more matter-of-fact views of aging I found were the Rolling StonesKeith Richards who said, “Getting old is a fascination thing. The older you get, the older you want to get”…or another one from an unknown origin that simply said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.”

But the one that’s probably been most on my mind lately and touched home is that from Sir Norman Wisdom, who said, “As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two.”

You see, my mom has Alzheimer’s and it’s been a constant struggle to watch her get all the way there. Sure, she’ll be 92 this year, so it’s hard to argue that she hasn’t lived a great life, and, she’s surrounded by a family that loves her, and, perhaps most importantly, she’s happy.

But when I hear stories such as my sister calling her several weeks ago and our mom asking, “How are your mom and dad,” it troubles me tremendously.

I’m going to be honest; I feel like I’ve been a terrible son recently because my telephone calls to her down in Arlington, TX where she lives are now few and far between. I try to justify it to myself by saying she doesn’t even really know who I am, or she doesn’t even realize anymore that I don’t call.

That doesn’t help. Each day that passes, the guilt increases and the worse I feel. It seems so simple, just pick up the phone and call her…but it’s not! I struggle.

Yesterday, after nearly a month, I did just that and called her at the home she lives in with a group of others in similar conditions. Just as I expected, it was a struggle. The conversation was totally one-sided, all on my part. She had trouble even putting a simple thought together.

The conversation was short, and ended with me saying, “I love you, Mom,” and her replying, “I love you, too.”

Maybe that was enough.

Still, it hurts and makes me tremendously sad. I really don’t know what else to say, other than I’m not the only one struggling with these types of issues in my life.

It’s a New Year for all of us, here’s to better days ahead.

• • •

The City of Laguna Beach has extended the deadline for completing their community survey until next Wednesday, Jan. 19. Do you know why? Well, it’s simple, they want your input…c’mon.

It’s simple and covers a number of quality-of-life issues in Laguna Beach, from neighborhoods, to raising a family, to cleanliness, to recreational and cultural offerings, safety, parking, businesses, transportation and much more.

With an important initiative potentially being finalized for the November ballot that makers say is designed to protect certain aspects of Laguna Beach, this survey could be important.

Go here to complete it.

• • •

Do you remember Harley Rouda? Well, of course you do. Harley ended the long-term reign of Republican Dana Rohrabacher by winning California’s 48th congressional district and serving in Washington D.C. from 2019-2021.

Then, Michelle Steel came along and sent Rouda back to the sidelines, where he’s since patiently waited, regularly offering criticism of many of the Steel moves along the way. His sights remained on another anticipated challenge of Steel later this year.

Then came the re-drawing of district lines and both candidates and current office holders scrambled for their next opportunities. Enter incumbent Katie Porter whose district now includes that which Rouda had visions on, forcing Harley, again, to remain out of the game.

That apparently changed this week when Rouda announced his new PAC, Join Together for America, that “will support people running for office who will fight for common-sense values. We’re committed to electing people who put their constituents’ needs before anything else.”

In case you’re interested, his PAC is currently seeking input from voters on “what issues do you want elected officials to focus on in 2022?”

• • •

The Laguna Beach High School Theatre is presenting its first live play you’ll want to have a seat to. They will be presenting Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring, a black comedy and favorite among regional theatres throughout America that centers around the Brewster family in Brooklyn, NY. There will be four performances – Thursday, Jan. 20 and Friday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. and on January 22 at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Artists Theatre. To book tickets, which range from $12-$22, go to https://lbhs.booktix.com/seating.php. LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

 

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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