End of an era.

I’m not going to go on about Dick Clark. Y’know? R’spect, but let’s not go overboard. I was a fan of many of the shows that were all bigfooted out of existence by “American Bandstand,” and what were they? “Hullabaloo,” “Where the Action Is,” and, of course, Jerry Rasor’s “Dance Party.” You never saw that one? That’s because it was a local:

Years and years and years later, I hung out at a club with our own Jeff Borden, and every so often they’d project clips from “Dance Party” over the dance floor, just for the ironic frisson of it all, because the music in the club was more likely to be the Ramones or Human Sexual Response. Good times.

Anyway, I sort of lost it after Clark insisted on coming back to “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” after his stroke. I didn’t know whether I should be a) happy that a stroke victim wasn’t having any of that societal disapproval of slurred speech; or b) horrified. You can’t speak clearly anymore, Dick! It’s a tragedy, but you had a good run! Let someone else take the helm! You’re 100 years old!

Knowing when to leave — that’s a tough one. I guess he figured it out for himself. Andy Rooney was about a decade overdue. Something to remember for all of us contemplating retirement.

I’m done with my horse-eating project at work and did so just in time to enjoy my two (2) craft beers, along with a falafel wrap at my new favorite local. I read a couple of chapters in “American Gods,” which I can’t decide if I like or not. It’s certainly a page-turner, but I’m sort of allergic to this genre. Can it rise above? Time will tell. It’s a great premise — a sort of underground trip to find gods of yore and beyond-yore. We shall see. In the meantime, it was good falafel accompaniment.


Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb? Hell if they know.

The University of Michigan joined Coursera. Have any of you guys ever done one of these things? Some of those courses look sort of interesting.

Just a few more days to get through, and then it’s May, and may I just say? That will be awesome. Have a great downslope of the week.

Posted at 1:13 am in Popculch |

97 responses to “End of an era.”

  1. Dexter said on April 19, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I was the perfect age to enjoy American Bandstand. I even saw Steven “Famous” Hooks dancing in a clip on the news tonight. That dude was there every week it seemed and he always got the best camera angles.
    Waterloo, Indiana had a TV station, WINT-TV, which moved to Fort Wayne and became WANE-TV after a few years in Waterloo. A man named Cactus Jack Powell hosted an after-school televised dance in the studio. It was a big deal to run home and see the big kids from the school dancing on the teevee.

    We all see heartless corporations and organizations abandon people when these folks become hurt, old, diseased. Retired professional athletes are developing disabling conditions from play-induced long term after effects of concussions. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is prevalent among fairly young retired pro footballers. Little help is offered.
    This is why this story just blows my mind. This rich team has committed to lifelong…yes, LIFELONG care of a challenged sister of a dead player from their team.

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  2. Crazycatlady said on April 19, 2012 at 2:47 am

    Soul Train was big here in Motown! But I remember American Bandstand. Good times, good times.

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  3. Bowditch said on April 19, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Dexter, my recollection of American Bandstand evokes the Chubby Checker to Petula Clark era, but my TV memories blur into Rowan and Martin, by whom I recall being far more entertained. Dynamics of popular music culture in those days seemed a lot more regional, and Dick Clark in Philadelphia, polished and snappy, was a world apart from my edge of emerging folk/protest, Joan Baez, Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Judy Collins. Then the Bandstand moved to LA, following the California Beach culture that reigned in the mid 60s, while we in New England caught the wave of British Rock and Roll that ultimately crashed onto the Ed Sullivan Show and the rest of the country. My own puerile tastes latched onto the rawness of the Stones, and my high school rock band did a bunch of their covers, very badly. Frankly, we couldn’t handle Beatles covers, because we sucked. A lot. But we were loud, and we had a tambourine player who sometimes was on the beat.

    My own move to the West Coast after high school opened my eyes, not to the Beach Boys, but to Big Brother and Janis, the Dead, and Moby Grape, none of whom, to my knowledge, ever made it onto the American Bandstand stage.

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  4. MarkH said on April 19, 2012 at 4:00 am

    AB “bigfooted” those shows? Hardly. By 1963, Bandstand itself was already gone, bigfooted off weekday programming, relegated to Saturdays. In 1965, Where The Action Is, a Dick Clark production by the way, restarted daily afternoon popular music on TV, lasting until 1967. I watched nearly every day after school. By the time it went off the air, EVERYONE in the ’60s music scene had appeared on it. Check the list here:


    Hullabaloo (a favorite; Teri Garr was once a dancer) was on Monday nights, Shindig was on Wednesday nights, and Thursdays as well for a time in ’66. Their big coup was getting the Beatles. I never saw Rasor’s show, got to Columbus long after. I don’t believe American Bandstand had anything to do with the demise of any of those shows. Just normal network programming decicions, i.e., $$$.

    But, yes, good times, great memories.

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  5. Linda said on April 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

    He didn’t bigfoot all local shows–once Bandstand was on Saturdays, the weekdays were open to local shows. One of those in the Detroit area was Robin Seymour’s show in the 1960s, on Windsor’s channel 9. That’s my childhood rock and roll show, although I also liked Soul Train in the 1970s when I was a teenager.

    According to this website, he had Frank Zappa and the Mothers as guests. Don’t remember that, but I remember the Rationals being on there all the time, and other local groups.

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  6. Dorothy said on April 19, 2012 at 7:26 am

    “Knowing when to leave…” – we said the same thing about Dick Clark just this morning, and I’m positive we had an even stronger opinion back in 2004. Funny how that applies to our current situation with Mike’s aunt. The building superintendent in her condo had to call the police on Monday (in Pittsburgh) because she hadn’t picked up her newspapers or mail in 3 or 4 days. Poor 86 year old lady was on the floor all that time. Dehydrated and a UT but other than that, she seems okay. She’s barely eating, though. We’re headed there tonight to get her situated in an assisted living facility after hospital discharge. If she had allowed us to help her do this two years ago when we broached the subect, the transition would have been so much better. Now, we have the sad task of cleaning up a mess we’re afraid to see and smell when we walk in there tomorrow morning, and she will have to move into a place where there is a vacancy instead of looking around for the optimum space. She’s a retired Army Major, and the place she prefers requires her disability to be 70% but she’s just at 60%. Sad, sad, sad.

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  7. Linda said on April 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Dorothy, I feel for you. We had the same situation with my mom, moving her into assisted living, then into my sister’s home. And it’s often the same–everybody theoretically is o.k. to transition “when the time comes,” but nobody ever believes that it’s time. I read a Washington Post article a few years back that was spot on. It was about a reporter’s elderly parents, and said that everyone in a retirement facility is eager for failing members to go to a assisted care/nursing facility (“it’s about time”), but nobody ever wants that to happen to themselves, or think that it’s personally “about time.”

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  8. alex said on April 19, 2012 at 7:59 am

    I have an elderly neighbor who’s right now recuperating from a fall in a nursing home and I hope she’s coming back. Her son keeps telling me he wants her to move to a facility, but I keep reminding him that if he knew his days were numbered he’d probably rather spend them in the familiar home that he loves than in a strange room somewhere. His mother is a cancer survivor on dialysis, by the way, but as sharp as ever. She had been a mechanical engineer in her day, an exceedingly rare feat for a woman, and until recently was quite capable of fixing her own kitchen appliances and whatnot.

    I would think that it would be cheaper to hire a nurse to look in on her daily or even live in than to put her in a home. Am I wrong? My aging parents have requested that I do whatever is necessary to prevent them from being placed in a facility. They also don’t want funerals. I want to abide by their wishes but I have a feeling that things can change in all kinds of unanticipated ways and these will be difficult promises to keep.

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  9. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

    everybody theoretically is o.k. to transition “when the time comes,” but nobody ever believes that it’s time.

    So true. When she was well, my mother said, “If I get to the point of needing help, don’t let me fight you.” But when the time came, it was pretty hard to accept, and even harder for my father. He was a remarkably capable, self-reliant man, and that idea of himself stayed with him long after the reality had changed.

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  10. beb said on April 19, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I was wondering if anyone remembered Paul Revere and the Raiders. I couldn’t remember if that was the name of the show as well, but I see from Mark’s comment above that the show was named “Where The Action Is,” PR&tRaiders was just the house band. As the house band I thought they sucked. Not because they were poor musicians but because all they played was chippy bubblegum music. Weirdly, I ran into someone a while back who actually thought they were a hot band. In what universe, I wondered.

    It would have been interesting to see a group like the Grateful Dead on American Bandstand or some such but did they have any music that ran to the standard 2 minute length? Or Janis Joplin. How does one dance to “A Piece of My Heart.” Come to think of it, a lot of the most interesting music of the 60s, like, say, “Dark Side of the Moon” weren’t exactly dancible.

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  11. coozledad said on April 19, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Dick Clark’s greatest contribution to popular culture.
    Jack Nicholson and Dean Stockwell didn’t make convincing hippies. The first time I saw this movie, I thought the dramatic arc was going to reveal they were a “new breed” of drug cops, hired by Elvis.

    There’s a central African version of falafel (akara) that’s made with black eyed peas instead of chickpeas. (some recipes call for hulling the peas, but those recipes can go fuck hull themselves) You cover and soak the dried peas overnight in water, drain them, whirl them with a chopped onion, black pepper and salt (one traditional recipe is to add fish or shrimp paste). Fold a few beaten eggs into three or four cups of the batter, and drop tablespoonfuls into a a small deep vessel of hot peanut oil.
    They’re good dipped in a yogurt-tahini sauce with diced fresh tomatoes.

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  12. Suzanne said on April 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

    The older I get, the more I understand why people fight being put in “the home”, even a nice one. For me, it’s the reality that no one ever goes there for a time and then goes home (unless it’s for rehab). The home is it–the end. Funny how we all know that there is an end, but most of us don’t want to face it.

    I’ll probably have to work until I die, just to be able to live, but really, Dick Clark should have given it up. It was somewhat inspiring when he made a New Year’s Eve appearance that first year, but then…no. It became a bit of a joke at our house as we wondered if he was really even still alive or if that was some creepy wooden marionette that rang in the New Year. RIP Mr. Clark!

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  13. Peter said on April 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

    A senior living community opened up in the southwest Chicago suburbs a while back. My friend’s parents looked it over but couldn’t pull the trigger to move: the place had a complex for senior apartments, and it also had an assisted living facility, a nursing home, a hospice, and the whole shebang was located next to a cemetery. My friend’s dad said it would be rough looking out the window of the apartment every morning and seeing how the rest of your life was going to be spent.

    In Chicago the local version of Bandstand was Kiddie A Go Go, done at WCIU’s studios under the roof of the Board of Trade Building.

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  14. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 19, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Hold on, gang. If you’re over 65, you have a one in three chance of spending *some* time in a nursing home; those over 95 are 50% likely to be in a nursing home. More than 75% of those over the last twenty years who have gone into nursing homes go back home or to some kind of residential community (non-nursing). The latest odds I’ve seen Medicare-wise are that if you make it to 65, you only have a 1 in 11 likelihood of “dying in a nursing home.”

    With my pastor hat on, I have these conversations all the time with families; the ones that go and live years under care and die there are what we remember, but socially & statistically it still isn’t the norm, or even that likely. I’m meeting a garage door repairman and teaching two classes here in a bit, or I’d hunt up specific citations, but I’m *very* confident of those numbers.

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  15. Connie said on April 19, 2012 at 9:33 am

    My grandmother went through all those stages at the senior living place where she spent something like 20 years. As a kid I thought the Holland Home in Grand Rapids was where all the old Dutch ladies went to live. Grandma was on the waiting list for some time, lived in one room for many years then went on to the various care stages before she died at 94, having outlived all four of her children. The place was huge with two many floored towers, and I’m sorry to say it sort of reminded me of “the projects”. Her sister and many of her friends lived there as well and she seemed happy. It took all of her social security and the tiny GR Fire dept pension she got to pay for it. My husband visited her there with our 4 month old baby and told me it was not a safe place to bring a baby, everybody in the place descended upon him to see the baby.

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  16. Bob (not Greene) said on April 19, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I know that retirement will never be an option for me. I’ll work until I die so I can remained housed somewhere.

    Peter, I don’t remember Kiddie A Go Go; when was it on. Of course, since it was on WCIU I wouldn’t have been able to see it until the mid-70s when we finally got a TV that had an antenna that picked up UHF stations.

    As for American Bandstand, one of the funniest memories of it I had was when the song “Convoy” was a big deal. One Saturday they had C.W. McCall on to do it. Basically he stood next to a pickup truck that had been placed on stage and spoke into a CB radio, while leaning on the door of the truck. “10-4 good buddy”

    And then everybody got a CB and pissed off all the truckers by continually breaking into their frequencies and asking them what their 20 was.

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  17. Dorothy said on April 19, 2012 at 9:35 am

    We’ve already told the social worker at the VA that we’d love to bring Aunt D. to Ohio. There’s an Eastern Star location on the way to Mike’s office and we could see her daily if she’d like. But she wants to stay in Pittsburgh. She has NO friends, and I really mean none whatsoever. She’s going to be pretty miserable I’m sure, no matter how nice or modern the facility is. She really does not need to be in full nursing care because other than needing a walker she’s pretty healthy. She is the polar opposite of my mother in attitude and life in general. I happened to call Mum on Tuesday and I reached her on her cell after trying her land line. She was almost apologetic that she was out in the gathering space outside her door with friends, having birthday cake for a neighbor, laughing and carrying on. She’s turning 90 in July.

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  18. Dave said on April 19, 2012 at 10:06 am

    My memory of “Where the Action Is” is that everyone looked like they were having fun. Paul Revere and the Raiders, while not a serious rock band, looked like they were having such a good time. Also, it exposed a Central Ohio boy to a lot of stuff he wasn’t ever going to hear on WCOL, I can’t speak to specifics anymore but I remember the group Love and this song, Love, an unusual LA band, a black lead with a white band backing him, before we heard of Jimi. http://tinyurl.com/4uu4wl

    Nancy, with your Jerry Rasor video, you’ve got me thinking of the earlier bands that were Central Ohio giants like The Dantes and The Fifth Order.

    Nancy, have to agree with the others, I don’t think Hullabaloo or Shindig were shoved aside by the Dick Clark behemoth.

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  19. Peter said on April 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Bob (NG), that’s a good point about WCIU – if I wanted to see the show, I had to go to a friends house a couple of blocks away – they got UHF reception. But if I was going to do that, it wasn’t going to be for no Kiddie A Go Go – I saved up my trips for Bullwinkle reruns.

    You mention “Convoy” to my dad and he’ll still turn a nice shade of red – the truckers weren’t the only ones pissed off about the amateurs on CB. We had a few on our block and whenever they talked the signal on out VHF would get fuzzy. If someone did that when Ernie Banks was up to bat it was a good idea to leave the house for a while.

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  20. alice said on April 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Dorothy, sorry about your aunt. I have a retired Army Major aunt as well, 97 years old, always dressed to the nines & still drives (but not at night). A different aunt was asked to leave a facility for trying to stab another patient in the crotch with a fork. Never know how you’ll end up.

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  21. basset said on April 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

    back to TV music for a minute… The Nashville Network is being revived “as a digital broadcast network…through exclusive network affiliates.”


    this would be the same TNN which got sold years back and rebranded as Spike TV.

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  22. Dorothy said on April 19, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Just now watched the clip – Matthew Weiner should take a gander at this so he can get some costume ideas to pass along for Mad Men circa ’69 The groovy dude in the bright blue jacket looks like he could be Don Cheadle’s father.

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  23. Claudia said on April 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

    My parents are in their mid-80s and my mother has dementia. My dad insists on their continuing to live in a two-story, four-bedroom house that is two hours away from the nearest daughter. We’ve pleaded with them to move closer; looked at wonderful (and I mean very nice) assisted living homes; found them “over 55” communities that would work (because they’d be close to two daughers). And the answer is always no. They won’t even agree to having someone look in on them a couple of times a week! They have friends where they live–and have lived for more than 30 years. We (the four daughters) dread the day that one dies and the other has no choice but to move immediately. We’d love to have them live WITH us, but according to my dad, that will never be an option. I don’t want them to give up their independence, but I wish I knew how to convince them that they need some help!

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  24. Little Bird said on April 19, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I loved American Gods. One of my all time favorite quotes is in that book. One sentence, a page and a half long. The story actually continues in Fragile Things, a compilation of short stories.

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  25. Dorothy said on April 19, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I don’t know about you guys, but we are already having this discussion with each other (my husband) and with our kids – about what we’d like to do when we reach an advanced age. We hope to have plans set up ahead of time and not burden our kids in any way. I like to think this is teaching us valuable lessons and we won’t repeat the behavior of my father-in-law and his sister, the Aunt with the current problems.

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  26. LAMary said on April 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

    I was never a big fan of Dick Clark. I didn’t give him much thought. However, when he had his stroke he was treated right here where I’m sitting and making a living, and before he died he donated and raised a lot of money to build the Dick Clark Stroke Center which will open this summer. It’s a whole floor of one of the towers of the hospital and includes different levels of care as well as acute rehab for stroke and other neuro patients. So thanks, Dick.

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  27. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

    The coolest band I remember clearly appearing on Bandstand was The Seeds. I recall Dick Clark completely nonplussed by these hippies and treating them like extraterrestrials, even though they were wearing business casual a la the Stones, circa ’66. Of course Sky Sunlight Saxon returned the favor. Saw the Seeds at the Birmingham (MI) Teen Center a year later, and Sky was dressed more like George Clinton going to a party at Nuwaubian HQ.

    Action was the best music show, because it had a great house band, the Raiders. And Dave, I’d say that is pretty serious rock ‘n’ roll, with a Keef-worthy hook, a great vocal. The Smothers Brothers Show booked the best bands. Pete Townshend traces the beginnings of his tinnitus to Moon blowing up his drum kit on the show.

    My mom (RN,NP) worked at a nursing home for a while when I was in high school. She found it a horrible place with lonely tenants, and a hotbed of sadistic staff behavior, another heinous case of lack of government regulatory control where it was sorely needed. One time in her life she got fired from a job, for blowing the whistle at a stockholders’ meeting, from which she was ejected, yelling her head off. She could go off, frequently embarrassing me and my brothers, as she did once at the Telegraph Rd. K-Mart gun counter a couple of days after Sirhan shot Bobby Kennedy. She was right about K-Mart selling guns and ammo, but we convinced her the frightened sales clerk had nothing to do with it. Both of my parents died at home, with all of their children present. It was hard on us, but the at-home hospice service was wonderfully helpful, and I’m glad about the way it happened. As it happened, I spent a couple of days alone with my dad at the end (missed my daughter’s wedding), and, in periods of his lucidity, had some wonderful random conversations with him. I was feeding him ice chips constantly, and this led us to discussing Smilla’s Sense of Snow, a favorite of my whole family’s, for a few hours. Me, I want to be riding my Bonneville when the time comes, if we both make it to then, maybe on South Kaibab Trail.

    I enjoyed American Gods, as I have everything to do with Neil Gaiman. I’ve got a copy of Anansi Boys I haven’t read yet, and his movie ventures, Coraline and Stardust are great favorites of mine. Coraline is one of the most enchanting animated movies I’ve ever seen (and pretty scary), and Stardust is as good as The Princess Bride (maybe better) as a fairy tale movie, and has Robert DeNiro as the gay captain of a flying pirate ship. Eat your heart out Jack Sparrow. First heard of Gaiman from one of those genre lists in the Guardian, compiled by the great Michael Moorcock. Any writer that’s approved by the author of The Cornelius Quartet (nee Chronicles) had to be OK by me. In fact, I think Moorcock’s Dancers at the End of Time was a likely inspiration for American Gods.

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  28. Joe Kobiela said on April 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Was there a name for the dance those kids were doing?? Loved the ties.
    Pilot Joe

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  29. Jenine said on April 19, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I like Gaiman a lot. But American Gods has an important plot element that turned my stomach. I finished the book but I felt that it was too far for entertainment. Maybe he sold it too well and I would have accepted the dark violence if it had been less believable?

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  30. LAMary said on April 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

    My sons currently wear desert boots, narrow legged pants, and have hair that falls over one eye just like the guys in that band in the video. Coolness never dies.

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  31. Jen said on April 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    My husband is a case manager for our Area Agency on Aging, so I hear a lot about the decision of whether to go to a nursing home or assisted living. One of the things that the Area Agencies on Aging does is find and administer state and federal funding to make it easier for aged and disabled people to stay in their homes. They’ll pay for (or partially pay for) things like cleaning services, bathing assistance, medical alert services, etc. Unfortunately, there is a LONG waiting list, at least in Indiana. A person really has to get on the list the moment they might be eligible so by the time they really need it, they have a chance to have made it to the front of the list. There’s just not enough money to go around.

    My husband also goes into nursing homes to do pre-admission screenings (to make sure people actually fit the requirements for a stay in the facility) so he spends a lot of time in nursing homes, and he reports that the industry is trying very hard to make nursing homes more home-like and stimulating for the residents. They do a lot of activities and outings, and they’re trying to move beyond the old views of nursing homes.

    My husband likes the idea of assisted living, which they really try to make a sort of in-between – not quite as difficult as living alone, but not as much care as a nursing home, either. The assisted living facility in our town has a nice dining room, lots of activities, a hair salon and other things like that. They have a lot of extra assistance that staff can offer too, like fall detectors, bathing, cleaning, administering medicine, etc. Unfortunately, it’s hella-expensive.

    I get the struggle – my grandmother has MS and gets around with a walker, but she has had frequent falls in her home. However, she is still very sharp. We have had struggles at every turn – getting her to stop driving when it became unsafe, convincing her to get a walker instead of using a cane, convincing her that she needed a medical alert system in her house, and on and on. Eventually she’s come around to every decision and agreed that it was the best thing, but it took a really long time (and, often, some sort of close call) to get her convinced. Our biggest fear is that, eventually, she’s going to fall and really hurt herself and end up in a nursing home. My mom, who does the bulk of the work with my grandma, has finally just had to let herself relax and take comfort in the knowledge that she’s done absolutely everything she can do, and that there is nothing more for her to do. That’s really the point that you have to get to, I think, or it will drive you crazy.

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  32. Jeff Borden said on April 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Beb, You are so, so, so wrong about Paul Revere and the Raiders. The costumes were a bit much –though you might recall when the Beatles were attired in matching Carnaby Street fashions– but they produced some great 2.5-minute rock ‘n’ roll songs. They took showmanship to a different level for rock bands –clearly influenced by the dance moves of James Brown’s backup band– and also were well known for being extraordinarily fan friendly.

    I have “Just Like Me,” “Stepping Stone,” “Hungry” and a few other hits on my iPod and always smile when they come up in a random rotation.

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  33. velvet goldmine said on April 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    @29 Jenine
    I know what you are talking about, but I feel more haunted by that twist that stomach-turned — even though I grew up in a place called Lakeside.

    AG is not my favorite Gaiman book because I think his work really cooks when there is a stronger tension between realism and supernatural, and the latter is obviously given a loose rein in this one. Still, it’s pretty intriguing — and I always love a good Rock City visit.

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  34. Linda said on April 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I would think that it would be cheaper to hire a nurse to look in on her daily or even live in than to put her in a home. Am I wrong? My aging parents have requested that I do whatever is necessary to prevent them from being placed in a facility…I want to abide by their wishes but I have a feeling that things can change in all kinds of unanticipated ways and these will be difficult promises to keep.

    Alex, think about these things: do they have money for round the clock care at home? Are there some supportive services in your area? Are there income restrictions around them? Do YOU have a support team, either of siblings or professionals, and if they are relatives, can they step up and help? Are they nearby? It’s entirely possible that your mom will need round the clock care, and you WILL need respite care. Take my word. And is your workplace supportive of caregivers?

    My sis took in mom for her last 2 years, and the relatives who did not visit mom much suddenly showed up all the time when she was under hospice care and it was “waiting for the beloved matriarch to die.” They didn’t make themselves useful, just showed up and pre-mourned. The hospice people were very helpful, though. My workplace is supportive of caregivers, but one of my co-workers had a gravely ill mom at the same time, and it cut down how much time I could spend with mom, because we are barely staffed. All these things are considerations.

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  35. paddyo' said on April 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Agreed, Jeff B. — Kicks was my favorite PR&TR’s song . . .

    Growing up in L.A., we had a couple of teen-dance shows to choose from: “The Lloyd Thaxton Show” (the poor man’s Dick Clark) and “Ninth Street West.”

    But my all-time fave TV music show of that era was ABC’s “Shindig,” though prime time and not after-school/afternoon teen fare. Show host Jimmy O’Neill, your classic modulated-voiced top-40 L.A. DJ, was famous for his in-show commercials, usually for Stridex Medicated Pads, an anti-acne product. He’d have somebody from the audience, usually a girl, “wash your face really well now, OK Cindy?” at an on-stage sink, and then apply a Stridex pad to her face. The pad invariably came back dark and filthy-looking, and Jimmy’d hold it up super-close to the camera as proof: “LOOK at that DIRT!” Classic teen-angst marketing.

    The show only lasted 2-3 years (mid-1960s), but the house band, the Shindogs, rocked. I didn’t recognize any of them at the time, but it supposedly had a who’s-who of later stars — Glen Campbell, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, among others.

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  36. Dave said on April 19, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    “Just Like Me”, that’s the song I was trying to remember. Liked the guitar solo, wonder if it was a Raider or a studio musician playing, I think that’s the first guitar solo that I’d ever heard like that, before the days of Cream and Jimi and anything the Byrds did (and I didn’t know about Stephen Stills and Springfield yet). Also, there was a song on one of their albums and the B-side of “Hungry” (I think), “There She Goes”, less than two minutes, that I always enjoyed, much as I always liked “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” as a basic, three chord rocker. Oh, the song “There She Goes”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k06lA3c555I

    Action was a Dick Clark production, Pros. Remember Mark Lindsay’s ponytail which, seeing now, was nothing like later ponytails men grew.

    My parents still live in the two story house I grew up in, every day, I fear I’m going to get a call that Dad, on a cane, has fallen down the stairs. There’s two bedrooms downstairs but they won’t hardly even discuss moving downstairs, they say it’s too small downstairs. Can I say, beat my head against the wall? There are five of us, they don’t really listen to any of us, they’re 84 and 85.

    My mother-in-law, who we lost last April, insisted she never wanted to leave her home and she didn’t, until near the end, but my wife spent most of the last two years that she lived, in Florida with her. Wasn’t a very great arrangement but we made it work. Honestly, she was in Florida more than she was here probably the last four years of her mother’s life.

    (Edited three times now, I might get it right)

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  37. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    One more song by The Band: When You Awake, sound advice living a good life as a preparation for a good death. Obvious Dylan inspiration.

    Arthur Lee and Love. Highest rpms ever until Tommy Ramone and hardcore came along 10 years after. Boom bip bip, Boom bip bip, Yeah.

    Right you are on the Raiders, JeffB. I still play Raiders frequently, and I think their version of Louie, Louie is definitive. The bass player, Phil “Fang” Volk was the chief clown on Action, but he was a very good player, as was the lead player, Drake Levin. Mark Lindsey had a great rock voice, gritty and greazy. Raiders were just an incredibly tight band. I was always under the impression that Action was produced by Dick Clark.

    Vastly improved end-stage care is a salient feature of the ACA although you’d never know it from listening to the opposition flocks of grackles and starlings talking about death panels. Strange, seems as if the great Obama lecturer, Goobernor Brewski of the Free-to-Secede State of AZ, started her own version of death panels last year.

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  38. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    There are so many things to think about w/ regard to getting older ourselves and caring for older people. What stuck out for me in our experience of dealing with my parents was the need for a person to coordinate the caretakers and to do things that aren’t in the job description of paid caretakers. For instance, when my parents got to the point of having their laundry done by nursing home staff, someone was forever losing their clothes. We had to keep track of what they had and whether new things were needed to replace whatever had disappeared most recently. That’s just one detail; there are many such.

    Also, the reality is that whatever arrangements you make are subject to change. If someone falls, there are changes in medication regimens, or changes in mobility levels, other parts of the system need to adapt, and, often, someone needs to be there to make sure that adaptation happens.

    Like most aspects of life, the best protection comes from having plenty of money and other people to lean on when needed. My parents were relatively affluent and had six kids to fill in around the edges of the care provided at their assisted living/nursing facilities. For my childless, less affluent self . . . well, things could get interesting.

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  39. beb said on April 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Jeff B., maybe I was put off by the costumes of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Which reminds me of the time I decided to broaden my musical tastes and buy a rock and roll album. (I’d previously bought Simon and Garfunkle records(). So I carefully listened to the music I was hearing on the radio and making note of the bands that were making the music I liked best. Since I didn’t read music magazines or go to concerts I didn’t know this band from Adam. I went to the record store and started looking under “K” — and boy was i shocked to discover the kind of people who made up KISS.

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  40. Linda said on April 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Jolene, money and kids help, but I’m not sure how much. Two of my five sibs died by the time Mom needed to live with somebody. My coworker had a sister die on him, and his brother suffer a major heart attack just after he retired, when he was going to pitch in with his mother’s care.

    Also, do parents WANT to live w/their kids, or can adjust easily after living in a child-free, age-stratified retirement environment for many years? My mom had a tough adjustment.

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  41. coozledad said on April 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    beb: People can put KISS down all they want, but Chaim Weitz rocks an interview.

    There are sacks of hammers that could beat that boy at Scrabble.

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  42. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    An amazing Stones performance on Shindig. I remember this like yesterday. My mom and dad were in the room when this came on, and were not pleased. Something very disturbing about Jagger staring into the camera. And that is Brian Jones playing slide guitar, I’m certain (white Vox Stinger teardrop guitar). For my money, Shindig was superior to Hullaballoo.

    Well Beb, it could have been Love It to Death.

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  43. Connie said on April 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I have no memory of watching rock n roll dance TV, but boy did I love Paul Revere and the Raiders, still have some albums somewhere. Oh you don’t need kicks….

    For the last couple years in Indiana my husband worked for an agency that provided in home services, he described it as being caretaker, companion, cook and driver. It was very low paying work, he made more per hour with the occasional under the table cash job. His biggest issue always had to do with who all got to tell him what to do. In most cases his patient, but there were always issues with various family members, etc. It’s unpleasant low paying work with very little reward. His agency figured out quite quickly that he was the person to assign to elderly veterans and he was very good at it. And very surprised when one of his guys left him the choice of his antique guns in his will.

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  44. basset said on April 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I remember Blue Oyster Cult breaking into “Kicks” at Market Square Arena in Indy about 1975. Worked, too.

    “Love it to Death” was a favorite high-school album, on the Automatic Radio 8-track in the ’63 Chevy II.

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  45. Dexter said on April 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I may be the only one here who saw Paul Revere and the Raiders perform live on stage. They were part of the touring Hullabaloo Show in the mid-1960s.
    I was too young to be a real critic then, I know I enjoyed their show, and they were great musicians and all the little girls swooned over Mark Lindsay. Now I hear several rock stars per week being interviewed on satellite radio. Last week Ron Wood was interviewed. When the topic of greatness comes up, always Paul Revere and the Raiders come up , referenced as one of the truly great 1960’s bands. I am not a musician at all, just a fan…I cannot say they were one of my favorite all time bands, but they were indeed a great band. I didn’t know that 47 years later their peers would be lionizing them as all-time greats, but they are.

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  46. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    As it’s currently configured, The SCOTUS is teetering on edges of slippery slopes into destroying-America-territory. People don’t pay attention to the Court, but the danger to the USA of more ideological wingnut activists on the court is undeniable when current decisions are considered.

    Meanwhile, Willard Windsock is going around excusing his less than forthcoming release of tax returns by claiming that John Kerry released only two years worth in 2004. Lying about everything to do with Kerry comes incredibly easy to GOPers, but this one is a whopper, a gargantuan untruth. Kerry actually released 20 years worth of returns. Now McCain in 2008, when he couldn’t remember how many houses he owned? Two years. Butt Mittens needs to correct himself on this one. Even for RMoney, the enormity of this lie is stunning. I’ve been convinced since the scurrilous swift boat shit in ’04 that the root of the extreme GOPer enmity toward Kerry is a result of his investigation and exposure of the Raygun administration’s traitorous behavior in the Iran-Contra/BNNL affair. I mean demystifying and exposing the conservative archangel? Quelle horreur.

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  47. Judybusy said on April 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    My grandmothers had/have unique situations. My maternal grandmother spent her last couple years in a nursing home where my sister (still in high school) was a nurses’ aide, and she and my mom lived 15 minutes away. It means so much to my sister she was able to spend so much time with her. She remained bright and lively till the end.

    My paternal grandmother is still alive and at the age of 92 or so went to live in a nursing home where her daughter and grandson’s wife work. She’s got pretty severe dementia, but still recognizes her daughter. She’ll be 99 in November, and it’s amazing she’s alive. She was born prematurely and the doctor told her mother not to get too attached. She apparently slept in a dresser drawer and made it due to the careful attention of my great-grandmother. This was in rural Illinois, in 1913–no NICU! That year, an older sister nearly died of scarlet fever (saved again by very diligent care by my great-grandmother and a visiting nurse.)If that weren’t enough, my great-grandfather suffered some horrible eye injury when a stalk of corn jabbed him. My grandmother was always so amazed she’d lived so long after such a dicey start. Little House on the Prairie was always very real to me as a kid!

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  48. Rana said on April 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    I think something that complicates the picture (of caring for, or arranging for the care of, older family and friends) is distance. My husband’s grandparents lived in assisted living, which they seemed to enjoy; my godparents avoided the hospital for far longer than was good for them and ended up on hospice; my grandmother died at home after a visit to the hospital, with my grandfather following her a year later. It was only my godparents who were difficult, as they had little money and we didn’t know they needed the help until it was far too late. But all of these things happened over the space of many miles, so unless there was someone local to help (like my husband’s aunt) it was hard to know what was going on.

    My own parents (who are still healthy and working, thank god) were thinking of these things when they had their house built about fifteen years ago. The upstairs is a single-level layout, with all of the doors wide enough for wheelchairs, and things like grab bars in the bathroom, and the downstairs is an apartment suitable for a live-in nurse or other aide. So I’m not so worried about their accommodations when they’ve reached that stage; what I’m worried about is the years when they are still independent but no longer safe behind the wheel, as their house is in the outer edges of their town, and the only way to get to friends, food, etc. is by car. I don’t know how that is going to be handled, nor by whom, as my brother lives out of the country and they’re on the West Coast and I’m here in the Midwest.

    *sigh* I guess that’s something we’ll need to talk about next time I visit. We’ve already talked about things like funerals, finances, and end-of-life decisions, but I suspect this one will be harder, somehow.

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  49. Charlotte said on April 19, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Sigh. The elder-parents issue. My father’s not a problem — he moved to Prague 20 years ago and is now on wife #3, who is ten years younger than I am. He’s her problem.
    My mother is another story. Think Betty Draper plus bitter divorce plus 2 dead sons plus 30 years of alcohol abuse plus chainsmoking plus an undying sense that she’s just a “nice lady” who has fallen on hard times. Her own mother (to whom she hasn’t spoken in 20 years) is 101 and going strong. I’m counting on the chainsmoking, because she’s certainly not coming to live with or even near me (unless she gets dementia and doesn’t know the difference). She did say the last time I visited that she knows there’s an institution in her future, but she’s very very stubborn. Basically, I do what I can from afar, but there are very good reasons that I’m afar and planning to stay that way.
    So folks, if you want your children to take care of you when you’re old — be nice to them. I don’t have my own kids, but do spoil my best friend’s kids — and tell them all the time that this is so they’ll come visit me in the old peoples home.

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  50. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Great story about your grandma, Judy.

    Great tune by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Personal favorite, probably, next to Steppin’ Out. Both of these are as good as a lot of Stones songs, and sound like they could have been. Funny line: Threw my clothes in my saxophone.

    Version of Louie, Louie by PR& the R:


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  51. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    The car issue is a big one, Rana. My folks lived in a very rural area, which allowed my father to keep driving longer than would have been safe in an area with more traffic. He tolerated having my mother drive when they went further afield, but when she had a health crisis, the wheels came off their whole arrangement.

    It’s good that you’re talking about these things now. It’s good to get your parents on record re what they want to do so that, if they later resist your ideas, you can remind them of what they said–not that that reminder will necessarily carry the day.

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  52. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Catholic conservatives are going a little nuts. The bishops are attacking the nuns for being sufficiently doctrinaire, and Gonzaga University is being criticized for inviting Desmond Tutu to speak, as this hero of the anti-apartheid movement is too liberal.

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  53. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 3:20 pm


    All of these things are reasonably part of a living will, I believe, which is something insurance carriers would cover under ACA. In fact, this is part of the process ignoramuses call “death panels”.

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  54. Sue said on April 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    So I guess it’s better that my parents died when I was 22, they were kind of heading down the same road as Charlotte’s mom.
    Shortly before my folks died I went to a psychic party (kind of like a tupperware party but with a psychic instead of a magical burping bowl). I wasn’t into it one way or another but I got invited and those were the days when I didn’t refuse tupperware-type parties because I didn’t want to be impolite. I got the usual fishing questions and was provided with the first name of the love of my life which turned out to be the same name as my eventual husband and also a rather common name so whatever. I went along with it good-naturedly but probably appeared a little distant rather than enthusiastic. At the end of my session, the psychic took my hands, looked at me and said, “You’re going to be ok, remember that.” Ok, sure lady. A few weeks later my dad was dead, month and a half after that off went my mother, and I thought Jesus H., did she get it wrong.
    Except, decades later, turns out I’m ok.

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  55. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Levon Helm is gone. One more link–a 13-minute interview after his initial comeback from throat cancer.

    Also, his NYT obit. The Post has only a brief wire service article up. Kind of pitiful.

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Hope the Chicago downtown lakefront-residing architect that just got pulled out of Lake Michigan wasn’t related to anyone here, though I gather he and his passenger were safely brought to shore. The description and age made me think if this guy wasn’t related to Deborah, she probably knows him! They said he flipped a modestly sized sailboat, too big to right with just two crew.

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  57. Dorothy said on April 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Oh Sue. Wow.

    The driving thing – we had been expecting a call some day from the police that Aunt D. drove into a crowd, or plowed into another vehicle, because she insisted on driving once or twice a week. The building super told me on Tuesday morning that about 8 months ago that she hit the garage wall three times one morning. An attendant had to come and get the car out of the parking space for her. And there are 3 or 4 others in her same condition in that building. She hit a parked car that had a trailer attached to it about 3 years ago after my father-in-law had a stroke and somehow it wasn’t her fault either. We are very, very grateful that she did not have a car accident where she hurt or killed someone else (or herself, of course).

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  58. Connie said on April 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    When my mom died at 57 my parents had been married for 37 years. My dad remarried a year later to a woman 16 years younger than him. My brother pointed out that at least she would be likely to live long enough to take care of him. And at 80 he is somewhat decrepit but still getting around. This man has been eating breakfast every week day since 1960 at the same restaurant. While growing up his father had a store across the street but wouldn’t go to that restaurant because they were Catholic. Oh Dutchistan. Nancy, I am so glad you gave me that word.

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  59. adrianne said on April 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Here’s a link to our Levon Helm coverage:


    And funniest quote from Levon, when he learned that “The Weight” was being used by Cingular One in a TV commercial:

    “We didn’t write that song to sell f…ing cell phones.”

    RIP, Levon, a true American original.

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  60. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    It’s tough to capsize a sailboat unless it’s a Sunfish Class or a Hobie Cat, either of which most children could right. Unless you’re oceangoing. Boats with keels only tip over in rough seas, and not likely on Lake Michigan. Here’s a guy that’s managed to capsize a 19 ft. boat two years in a row:


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  61. MichaelG said on April 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    A couple of years ago I spent a lot of time at the State Veterans Home in Barstow. I had a project there. The place is clean, the food good, the sponsored activities plenty and the management and staff work very hard to provide a good place for their residents. I have to give them all the credit in the world for their efforts. But in the end, the place is what it is and I concluded that there was no way I would ever want to live in such a home.

    I have no idea what I’m going to do when the time comes. I do know that I’m still working at age 67 and won’t be retiring any time soon.

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  62. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I have no idea what I’m going to do when the time comes.

    Part of the damn nuisance of getting old is not knowing when the time will come and what you’ll need. One of my mother’s closest friends, a woman in her late 70s, was living independently and in apparent good health. Then she had a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died the next day. She didn’t need anything or cost anybody anything.

    My parents both spent several years and massive amounts of money in institutional care.

    Neither of those outcomes could have been predicted five years in advance–or even one year in advance.

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  63. Charlotte said on April 19, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Massive cerebral hemorrhage didn’t even do in my mother! Five years ago — we don’t know how long she was on the floor — anywhere from 24-72 hours. I get the call from the neurosurgeon telling me to get on a plan to pull the plug — by the next morning she was back. Shunt in her head, without her false teeth, going through the DTs, but pulling through and yelling at me because I wouldn’t spring her from the ICU.
    Which I’m glad about, even if she is difficult — weirdly she’s been much nicer ever since and we’ve had a degree of reconciliation I never thought was possible. However, I have been known to joke that if I’d known all those years that all she needed was a good crack over the head …

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  64. Little Bird said on April 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Prospero, the lake gets really choppy sometimes. Boats flip more often then you’d think. Some people go so far as to say that nearly every weather or type of rough water that happens on the ocean, can happen on the Great Lakes.

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    All well in your domicile, then? Hoping so. And I’ve seen all manner of craft flip when the Mackinac Race fires the starting gun, not Hobies.

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  66. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Great bluegrass tune from Dirt Farmer, Little Birds. I’m guessing that’s Amy Helm singing the harmony.

    Yeah, Litte Bird, I’ve been in bad water like that on Lake Champlain, which is much smaller, but a 19 ft. sailboat is going to have about a 7ft. keel, likely weighted with lead, so capsizing that sucker would take some real foolishness. Boats that capsize at sea are generally rolled over by monster waves, bigger than anything on any lake, like the waves that did in the Andrea Gail in Perfect Storm.

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  67. Little Bird said on April 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    If the wave hits the boat right, or wrong, way the boat can easily tip.
    And if the boat owner was buzzed, that could do a lot to make it easier to flip a boat. It was a birthday celebration so that could be the case.

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  68. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    A great TED talk by Atul Gawande re how to fix healthcare.

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  69. Sue said on April 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Prospero and Little Bird, all I know is you don’t mess with Superior:

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  70. Deborah said on April 19, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Jeff, No relation to the architect pulled from the lake, but his name was Peter something. Hope it’s not our Peter!

    edit: the guy and his friends that were rescued are all OK, they suffered some hypothermia but are fine now. So if it was our Peter, he’s OK.

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  71. Deborah said on April 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Ok, now I’m confused the boat rescue I read about a little earlier happened yesterday afternoon. Was there another one today?

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  72. Peter said on April 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    You guys are alright!

    And I’m not OK, but you knew that for some time…

    Jeff, I looked up the article, and I ran his name by IDPR – he’s not a licensed architect…

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  73. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Ladies, for a modest donation to the Obama campaign, you can win a chance to have dinner with the prez AND George Clooney.* (Offer available to gentlemen too.)

    *I couldn’t put the link here as, when I open the page, it recognizes me and provides a handy-dandy link to my credit card info. That didn’t seem wise, much as I love and trust you all.

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  74. Heather said on April 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Charlotte, your story hits home with me. I won’t go into my relationship with my dad–suffice it to say he’s been an alcoholic since he was 14 and has always been deeply self-involved, never could keep a job, etc. Ten years ago he got his Irish citizenship, moved overseas, and promptly started having major health problems. He’s in a nursing home now and is bedridden. The staff say he wants to come home and don’t understand why we don’t bring him home, but he has zero money, and none of us kids are going to sacrifice our lives and our savings to take care of him, since he barely took care of us. In some ways it’s the best thing that could have happened, since he’s getting good care for very little money thanks to their health care system, but it’s sad that he’s alone, even if his choices led him to his fate. The guy has outlived both of his ex-wives–both of whom died relatively young of cancer–and could last another 10 or 20 years just existing. I just hope I have those longetivity genes.

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  75. Charlotte said on April 19, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Yeah, my stepmother (wife #2) and I begged my dad to marry wife #3 — that way he’d be a legal resident in the Czech republic, with socialized medicine etc …
    And although I don’t want my mother to live to 101 like her mom, I don’t actually want her dead either. It’s just that for a lot of us out here, well, its not like they were parental in the first place, and then everyone gets all vibey when they’re old, and seem sweet, and helpless. Sigh.
    Let’s just say I’m socking everything away in my IRA I can, and paying off my house …

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  76. Deborah said on April 19, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Both of my parents died before they were at an age when I would have needed to provide care. My mom was only 48 and my dad was 80. I’ve already outlived my mom, hoping to outlive my dad too. My mother-in-law is 93 and lives in a retirement community, she’s in good health and sharp as a tack. My husband’s father died at 65, and my husband turns 65 in a couple of months.

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  77. kayak woman said on April 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I loved reading all of today’s comments about dealing with elderly parents although I have to admit that they gave me flashes of PTSD. I have spent the last year dealing with my stubbornly independent 91-year-old mother and her journey through illness and the resulting loss of independence and finally a spiral into death. You all have pretty much said it all so I won’t describe the details of our journey but it entailed me (her only living child) driving back and forth from the Planet Ann Arbor to the Yooperland (5 hours on a good day) many many times, often on an emergency basis. I am mainly feeling relief these days. Peace.

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  78. beb said on April 19, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    The president at the Henry Ford Museum…which has,, you know…That Bus! Awesome.

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  79. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    The idea of wondering when they’re gone whether that’s a good thing in general. If I’m watchig two more hrs. of
    georgia football with my dad, that is worth endless hours cleaning up behind him. Or
    tryna figure my mom versus assholes that found her objectionable because she wore short skirts (awesome “bWhat this all comes down to is what was this made up shit? ” I’m not considering anything. No kidding, My mother was smarter than these fools. What a buncha morons,

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  80. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Beb, Why I auto…

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  81. alex said on April 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Linda @34—

    Thank you for your insights. I’d say, judging by what I’ve seen at my workplace, that they are supportive of caregivers. We’ve had personnel whose spouses and family members were experiencing health crises and they got the time they needed away from the office. In one rather sad case recently, one of the nicest people in the office took a retirement because she felt she didn’t have enough time to take care of her mother, who passed away just a few weeks later. She hadn’t wanted to retire. Another woman lost her husband very recently and had been given a lot of leeway to take care of him after he’d had a massive stroke a while back. Only in his early fifties. When I first saw her afterward she told me she was keeping her wedding band on because she doesn’t want anyone thinking she’s available and that her husband is the only man she’ll ever love. It was very poignant.

    I imagine my parents have the means to be taken care of if it comes to that, although these days you can run through money fast when it comes to medical care. Both my parents also have living wills and do not want to be kept alive artificially. I’m the only child who lives close to them and otherwise we really do not have much family that would have any inclination to be involved in their care. I don’t know how much longer they’re going to be driving either. My mom, who’s 83, thinks she’ll be giving it up soon and in fact bought a car recently with my brother’s wife in mind as the recipient when she decides to stop. My mom and my partner think my dad is becoming a complete space cadet behind the wheel, and that’s of some concern too. They and we live out in the exurbs and my partner and I will probably be responsible for their transportation and taking them shopping and taking them out of state to see their grandchildren, which they love doing multiple times per year.

    It’s all happening so fast. I can’t believe I’ve been back here from Chicago for seven years already and I came back in part because I knew I’d need to take care of my parents. With any luck we’ll have at least another seven years and maybe more. My mom’s mom lived to be 95 and was basically self-sufficient to the very end.

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  82. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    nything about what Oscar said about this buooshit? You people have no clue about how things snea under the window.

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  83. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Whatever are you kidding?

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  84. Connie said on April 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    THen there is my perky mostly healthy 90 year old mother in law and her just as perky and healthy older sister Mary, who regularly drives from Cheboygan to Flint to visit. Their Mom made it to 94. MIL lives in the same small ranch they bought in 1962. And still goes up and down the basement stairs to do her laundry. We’ll head up to see her on Saturday and go to the chicken bbq fundraiser at her church. Should I live that long I hope to be like her rather than my dad.

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  85. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Great Adrianne, That is some fine writing about a reason to think your place is special. All of that writing titles, we hope

    Robbie and Levon loved each other. Is that your paper? Tjat is some fine writing. Connie, there is no template.

    my mom screwed over any sensible way of ooking at things likee this.
    she was capable of insanity.
    but, you know, she was still my mom.

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  86. Prospero said on April 19, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    If somebody that claims to know something about NBA Hoops thinks
    rose is a better ballplayer than
    rondo. lets hear the explanation
    . Tell you something else. Under the hoop, Patrick would have eaten LeBron’s lunch.

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  87. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Yes, I meant to say, too, Adrianne that the coverage of Helm was very well done. Loved the photos and videos, and the articles gave a rich sense of the man, his place in music, and his place in the community. Would love to have been able to attend one of those rambles.

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  88. Bill said on April 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Sorry to report another empty barstool at nn.com. JZ (the original), an infrequent commenter, passed away suddenly in France on Easter Sunday.. Mrs. Bill and I attended the U of Illinois in 1957-61 with her. We’ll miss her.

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  89. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    A link to this poem about Helm, written in 2009, popped up in my Twitter feed.

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  90. alex said on April 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    In breaking news, Mr. Girl Scout Cookies Fund Abortions just lost his seat in the statehouse. Count on it.

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  91. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Kayak woman, I know you not at all, but just from what little you’ve said: bless you. I know you’d say you only did what you had to do, but you did it, and may you be blessed for and by it. Your peace is well-earned. That, and lots of Mighty Mac tolls.

    Deborah & Peter, glad all are well in Chicago, even mildly buzzed multi-flippin’ boat-losers. And grace and peace to those who knew & loved JZ (the original), whose handle is enough to ring that bell that tolls for me, and for us all.

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  92. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    If you are looking to see what JZ might have said, you should search on “JayZ(the original).”

    Sorry, for the loss of your friend, Bill, and my sympathy to others who knew her.

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  93. Deborah said on April 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    If I have to pass away suddenly, may it be in France on Easter sunday. Not to make light of it, I remember her name well here among the commenters. May she rest in peace.

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  94. Jolene said on April 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Man, this statement from the Vatican re the failings of U.S. nuns is the most offensively paternalistic thing I’ve seen in a long time. If I were one of the nuns, I’d be fighting mad.

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  95. Brandon said on April 20, 2012 at 12:09 am

    I’m of the generation that watched Club MTV and The Grind and knew Dick Clark more for his New Year’s Eve specials. But Ryan Seacrest, enterprising as he is, will never be able to fill the Will Perdue-sized shoes Clark left behind.

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  96. Cara said on April 20, 2012 at 1:28 am

    Alex at 90. If the challenger for Mr. Girl Scout Cookies Fund Abortion needs signatures, you can bet the line of people waiting to sign will be three deep and five miles long. CookieBoy has already littered major arteries with his outsized green/white campaign signs. Makes me wish for black spray paint and the time to decorate them with the universal ‘No’ icon.

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  97. Joared said on September 18, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I was lookin’ up Jerry and just happened on to your blog. FWIW I worked the WLW-C “Dance Party” when it started as part of what I did with the live shows at the TV station then.

    Am intrigued by your conversation regarding “knowing when to stop.” Was glad to read you considered some possible value in a stroke patient, with speech problems, trying to carry-on a life. Kirk Douglas did the same — made a movie with his son — what’s ‘is name. Gabby Gifford has made tremendous progress. Then there’s Patricia Neal who came back for a movie or so, but had a rough few years to get to that point. Also, we have astronaut John Glenn’s wife whose speech problem was quite different. You may not recognize some of these names. 😉

    Though he didn’t have a speech problem, I rather enjoyed ole Andy. But this takes us into a discussion of ageism which is very prevalent in our society. That’s a good topic for another time that affects us all sooner or later — if we have the privilege of living.

    Given that midlife I went into a profession that has had me working with people who’ve experienced problems like Clark’s, I was interested in your and others perspective. Somehow our culture seems more willing to accept someone with a physical disability, but if a person’s speech doesn’t fit into a certain “norm” we find it more difficult to tolerably accept them. 😉

    You’re certainly correct about how it would be much less expensive to provide assistance to some people in settings other than a nursing home, or maybe even in retirement communities that offer several levels of care. Did you know that the preference of older people today is to “live in place” i.e. their home/apt.? Gonna have to have some changes in health care to fully make that possible.

    What would you want for yourself? It’s hard knowing when to throw in the towel — something about trying to keep up one’s morale and interest in living, for one thing. Not Clark, but for some others it might be needing income.

    There are a whole bunch of us informally-named “Elderbloggers” — age 50 yrs and up, plus younger ones who come to read and find out what aging is really like — not all decline, disease and debility. Your input would be welcomed on my blog and others such as Ronni Bennett at “Time Goes By” — everybody ages and I’m glad I’m getting to do so when I consider the alternative.

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