Let’s hear a cheer for the innards of books.  They are such a useful way to learn that you don’t know it all.   

When I heard that Netanyahu and  HAMAS leaders  had been issued arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court, I knew it’s name and a [very] little about the ICC, because I had read Scott Turow’s book, Testimony.   I knew that the United States was not a member of the ICC, that it took the ICC a very long time to get results, but that finally, someone was doing something about the atrocities going on in Gaza.  I trust Scott Turow.  His earlier book, Presumed Innocent,  which is about trial evidence, was sent to me by two lawyer friends about 48 hours after I lost my malpractice case against the physician who crippled me.  They thought  I might find it useful, which I did.  Even a bit after the verdict, it was interesting, informative, and comforting, as the innards of good books are.

Similarly, when I wanted to know more about the Middle East, I read   [Washington Post foreign policy writer] David Ignatius’ book, ‘Agents of Innocence’’ and learned a lot about Beirut and its factions that contribute to and complicate its life, as factions do.  [An aside; Two other books that helped me understand a bit about the Middle East were Rory Stewart’s ‘Places in Between’. and William Dalrymple’s ‘From the Holy Mountain’.]  Now I want to know more about the politics of space.  So I was very excited to  read that David Ignatius’ new book, ‘Phantom Orbit’ is about Russia, China, US, and space technology.  I used my 1-click Kindle ordering, which Charlie threatens to dismantle, and voila! Phantom Orbit is ready to read.    

Which I promise to do, as soon as I finish Alisa Luna Valdez’ second novel, Blood Mountain, featuring Jodi Luna, poetry professor turned State game warden in New Mexico,  If this one is as good as Hollow Beasts, Alisa Valdez’ first in the series, then I may have found a worthy successor to Tony Hillerman, with a dollop of C.J. Box  Gotta love those innards.

Hard to be ‘midst innards of WOW! Rhodies, and stay out of the dirt, too.

  Celebrate the oldies, young and/or wise.  They know things.

I am old, old, old, 
but I do not do as told, told, told. 
I am bold, bold, bold, bold,
Going for the gold, gold, gold,
while having a very good time. 

This month I will be 85.  By one government standard, that is ‘old old’.   65 is ‘young old’, 75 is ‘middle old’, and 85 is ‘old old’.  However you say it, 85 is very old, but also a clear indicator that we ‘old oldies’ have beat the odds of dying at 79 [women] and 74 [men], and are, therefore, according to Garrison Keillor, ‘above average’. 

But what do you call ‘older than old old’? I asked Howard, a breakfast buddy, who is 95 and way above average, what the 4th stage of old should be called, and he said, ‘Dead!’  I figured he was annoyed that they stopped serving hot 7-grain cereal on Mondays, which is perfectly understandable, so I ignored him, and suggested   ‘wise old’, for a ‘wise oldie’ he surely is.

I like Howard a lot.  During Gary’s Poetry Club which was about my least favorite topic, Lyrics,  Howard, in his native New Yorker-ese, recited Jim Byrnes’  lyrics to the song, ‘Old Dog, New Tricks’.  It was great!  I heard an oldie’s anthem in the making.  [An aside;  Friends and technology willing, someday you’ll be able to see or hear Jim Byrnes’ lyrics.]

Also exciting, Howard, at 13 years old, went to the original Speyre School where his ‘classes’ were seminars, plus using public libraries, which imo, is the perfect prep for a lifelong autodidact, which, thinking about it, Leonard is and what I tried to help my 40 years of my older students t continue being..  The world would be so much better if we all knew how better to handle misinformation, disinformation, rumor, and now, A.I.  [An aside;  ‘imo’ is text-speak for ‘in my opinion’.  Sometimes I am so-o-o with it.  Charlie is choking at the thought.] 

Gotta love oldies, Leonard, autodidacts libraries, well-sourced information, and Charlie.  Always Charlie.

 Celebrate the library’s pluses, especially its newly patched wall.


POETRY CONTEST PRIZES…As one among 100-plus winners of the4Cultures King County Public Poetry Project, I and my poem, The Missing Link, have been [1] mentioned online as promised, but which has gone virtually unseen because almost none of my fellow oldies know how how to be online; [2] probably displayed in a bus or train car, though I’m not sure, because I don’t ride the bus or know anyone, including Charlie, who does, although I know that one of his friends bikes to work.  However, Amy, my manager, and all-purpose fixer, has a bus-riding friend, who saw something about poetry displayed on whatever bus she took.  Amy is riding buses and doing whatever she does on Linked In, trying to find a sighting; and [3] promised a gift, which I will love. I may be the only award-winning, published [50 viewings ] poet whose best seller was 2 batches of the Memorial Card I sent to my sister’s wake, titled Channeling my sister, Charyl Coghlan Pollard, while reading the poem, “Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska.

FINDING LIBRARIANS…  So far, so…promising.  I think I’ve almost nabbed 2 actual and 4 potential career changers, though 1 actual chose massage therapy instead, 1 actual  is giving it thought, and 4 potentials don’t know what they’re missing, because Charlie won’t let me near his friends; 5 potential undergrads, 1 is solid, 1 is veering toward Law School, 3 others have enthused parents; no retirees, yet, though Howard thinks it sounds like fun! Howard would make a great librarian.  I know this because he was the only Poetry Clubber to agree with me that Hala Aylan’s poem, Siri My Mother, could be used as a Lyrics choice because the questions within sound like the music of a Library’s Reference Room.                                                                                             

Gotta love Amy, mostly Amy, potential librarians, and the innards of ongoing adventures.

Celebrate that Frankie the Feetsplinters has well-tended toenails.

That’s it.  Remember our warriors on this, Memorial  Day.  Then let the summer’s fun begin.  I’ll keep you posted.

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9 Responses to CELEBATIONS

  1. Kathryn Lamp says:

    Colleen, a great blog post! Informative and I now have a copy of the Alisa Luna Valdes’ two books you mentioned. Thank you. Please repost your winning poem.

  2. Barb Minor says:

    Excuse me, Prof C. Do you have a [ahem] typo in your title? The Urban Dictionary says that celebation means “to not have sex, to be without sexing up. Can be either for religious reasons, personal, or because no one wants to have sex with you.” This is a true state for many of us olds, though with a temporary resolution close at hand. It does not seem to be on the mark topically for your post. If so, you are not alone – Mr. Google can confirm that.
    Keep on keeping on, ma’am. You have been and are a shining North Star in my librarian life. ~ Barb M, U of M Class of ’72

  3. Reilly Atkinson says:

    How about “Super Old”

  4. colleen says:

    I love this. What a joy to have had the world’s best students,

  5. colleen says:

    For you Reilly, only for you.

  6. colleen says:

    Ah! The legions demand ANOTHER printing.

  7. Jim Tchobanoff says:

    Mrs. McCurdy was a family friend in Detroit where I grew up. When she turned 50 — actual age — she started counting backwards. Last I heard she was 9. You look pretty good for a feisty teenager.

  8. Leah Harvey says:

    Good to hear from you!

  9. colleen says:

    Loved your message. Mrs. McCurdy is a woman I can appreciate. She might live to be 100. With good genes and if she’s Irish, then she’ll become a ghost of her former self. Could be fun.

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