Some Fantastic Place

Athenae’s beautiful tribute to her tough and feisty grandmotherupon her passing *really* touched me. I’m not one for tears but it turned on the waterworks. Partially, I suspect, because Dr. A and I spent Christmas Eve and Day with an elderly relative who now lives in a very nice retirement community with options called St. James Place in Baton Rouge. Louise chose to move there last year after living on her own just became too much after her husband Eddie’s death a few years ago. The good news is that she really likes it there and it’s full of retired educators much like herself, which makes visiting her quite interesting.

Christmas dinner was surreal because we sat in the dining room with a Jewish couple from New Orleans who moved to St James after their house was flooded when the London Street canal crapped out back in 2005. Mr. Levy is a retired businessman whose longtime avocation, art, is now his passion and he’s damn good. Our meeting, however, was a bit disconcerting as he greeted me with a booming “Merry Christmas.” I was startled and said: “Did I hear your name correctly? Levy?” He shrugged and said, “So, I’m a gentile one day a year?” I love people who answer a question with a question, it makes me feel right at home…

Obviously hanging out with octogenarians gets you thinking of your own mortality and of those you care about. My parents are both dead but they lived to their mid-80’s so I may too. I somewhat dread the thought of being a cranky old man but now that I think of it, I’ve always been a bit cranky so it will be hard for anyone to tell the difference. Hell, pondering my own mortality makes me crankier than hell since I don’t believe in an afterlife. I only hope I’ll be more like Jack Lemmon inGrumpy Old Men than Walter Matthau. If I turn into Matthau I may put out a contract on myself…

Where is all this going? I’d like to postSome Fantastic Place; a song written by Difford and Tilbrook after the death of the person who introduced them. Said introduction led to their long and fruitful musical partnership in Squeeze. I’m not sure what kind of funeral I want but I’d like this song played at it: I may not believe in an afterlife but it never hurts to hedge one’s bets. Besides, I *do* believe in a good melody and SFP has got that in spades.

I’d like to dedicateSome Fantastic Place to Athenae and her family as they simultaneously mourn and celebrate a life well lived.

2 thoughts on “Some Fantastic Place

  1. pansypoo says:

    i don’t think i’d mind going before decrepitude. going senile scares me. plus the current state of nursing homes.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ll check the video when I get home, otherwise, nice to hear that part of B.R. isn’t all bad…or at least has good people…actually, Southdowns (roughly west of Lee Drive) is ok, Lee Drive itself is suffering from the classic Red Stick conundrum–too much automotive traffic, which one day will result in it being four laned, which will generate even more traffic, until it looks like Essen Lane (which would easily qualify as a finalist for William Howard Kunstler’s Eyesore of the Month.)

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