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2 June 2021, San Jose, CA: Octogenarians Rock!

I don’t know exactly how old Bill and Gary Sanders are, they whom I visited two days ago and reported in the previous Journal entry, but if one or both is/are not yet 80 they fit the category, having five great-grandchildren. I also then reported on my visit with Al and Lydia Montaño. Lydia is my age, and Al is a few years older.

Yesterday I visited Barbara and Chuck Kingsley in Palo Alto. Chuck is an ‘octo’, for sure, being 87, and Barbara is a small number of years younger, I believe. Anyway, there we were, chatting away about all the things octos chat about: family, the state of the world, health, and with Chuck, in particular, MUSIC!

Yes, Chuck was my ‘music buddy’, starting ‘way back in 1958. (Fred Pape was my first music buddy, starting in high school, 1952).

I have reported elsewhere that wherever my family lived my father had a portrait of L. van Beethoven affixed to a prominent wall. In Chuck’s (and, therefore, also Barbara’s) house the portrait is of Dmitri Shostakovich. After a few hours of tea and chat, Chuck and I left the house to get a takeout lunch, and thence to a park. We sat under two marvellous old trees in Mitchell Park, Palo Alto, eating classic bagels with cream cheese, etc., from Izzy’s Brooklyn Bagels. (Barbara stayed home knowing we needed to talk about music, well beyond her level of our obsessive interest).

Composers remembered and discussed, along with their interpreters, were Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Bach, Beethoven, Alan Hovhaness (a greatly under-appreciated American composer), etc.

It was good.

By dinner time I was back in my temporary home in San Jose, having ordered a takeout Vietnamese dinner, sitting in the backyard while eating Phở Gà and fresh spring rolls, surrounded by the succulents and other plants nurtured by granddaughter Sonya:

(A small portion of Sonya’s garden)

In a few hours I will be eating lunch with a friend and former colleague from what was once the largest private hospital in Oakland, CA., in the mid-1980s. No doubt we will talk about hospitals, “healthcare” (which is really “sick care”, a much better and more accurate appellation), old mutual friends (at least one of which is following this journal—yes, you, Peter), and whatever else may flow through our minds while sitting outside ‘Par Three Restaurant’, Poplar Creek Golf Course, San Mateo, CA, a public course.

Stay tuned.

Next Journal Entry.


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