A couple of years ago, television personality Regis Philbin mentioned something with which I quite agree; if a person stirs your soul, gladdens your heart, feeds your appetite, or, perhaps just plain hands over his or her spot in a check-out line to you when you are toting one item at the local market...seize that singular moment that may never come again to spontaneously shower words of admiration, affection or appreciation upon that unwitting person.
Well, Regis was actually referring to meeting a well-known figure, not yet his acquaintance, in the entertainment field, and was “bashful” to the point he could not spurt forth his words forming one part of that alliteration in the above paragraph.
A long-standing regret, it was one he was still “ruing” about 40 years later on ABC. His final word on the subject? Speak those heartfelt thoughts even if you end up “gushing forth” geysers of inanities. (That means: Utterances that border on being fatuous or absurd or empty.) Been there, done that! Heck, Regis, if you're talking "pressure," put yourself in my size five tennies, meeting Debbie Reynolds in the parking lot at the grand opening of the now defunct El Monte Zody’s some 42 years ago….with a hungry baby in your arms!
To this end (like in case I run into Bryan Cranston someday at Trader Joe’s and want to exchange genealogy pleasantries) and way long before I was privy to Regis’ wisdom, in an honest search to improve my limited high school vocabulary (this is said in my defense and to restore any familial honor I may have surrendered during my childhood absorption years, I thumbed and read my way through Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary and several Encyclopedias while anticipating the birthings of three future genius-type people.
Any erudite (high-faluting) words you come across in my Blogs or hear gushing over my Avonned lips are the direct result of 27 months and ten days of deciphering Cousin Noah’s bookish contributions, the prelude to today’s more lenient tomes that contain and explain words once heard only in pool halls, beer joints, municipal swimming pools and the U.S. Grant Elementary School grounds in Atlantic, Iowa.
No doubt about it, well-placed words of unexpected praise (but it has to be from the heart) will make or shake the whole of a person’s being…and “that’s a good
thing.” Soul food and manna wrapped up in one neat package, it’s truly a
reciprocal-and-random act of kindness.
Example: while composing this Blog, I made a quick telephone call to Econo-Lodge in Des Moines, to make reservations for a summer visit. Before I ended the call, I casually mentioned how pleased I have been with their motel and the personnel the several times I had stayed at their location. Net result: my daily rate was “bumped down” $10.00, and that gives me extra money to splurge at several Arby’s in Iowa and Illinois come summer. Further, I know the coffee pot will be perking and Belgian Waffles hot off the iron will be waiting our arrival.
Which is why I am still mentally kicking myself for missing this past Valentine’s Day deadline to speak out….not for the “manna” but for the “soul.”
Let me explain, while also begetting a "I (Heart) You" declaration to people who have decidedly put a new spin on my world that once spun around “bringing up babies," gaveling P.T.A. meetings, typing church bulletins and making special- occasion gift packages of sherried walnuts for bowling teams.
Exactly one year to the day of this past Valentine’s Day, doors were opened for the first time to more than 100 San Gabriel area Senior guys and dolls when the City of Temple City and the YWCA San Gabriel Valley-Intervale Senior Services joined forces in establishing the “Senior Café” at Live Oak Community Park at 10144 Bogue Street.
(There are several other nearby cities that offer this same opportunity to the Golden-Age membership, one of the best-kept secrets in the valley. If your local
community does not participate in a Senior Café, a day-before reservation call
to Live Oak Park Community Center at 579-0461 will buy (donation suggested) you a social/culinary experience you are not likely to soon forget…which is a good
Already assembled inside was another group of Seniors, volunteers numbering nearly 30 men and women who had made a heart-commitment to serve to this particular generation the choice of American or Chinese lunches hot to the tongue and delicious to the palate. It is to these volunteers that I lost my heart on Feb. 14 of last year.
Am ruminating now: If the year was 1800, we’d be called “a Melting Pot” by eager cub reporters; if 1946, some eagle-eyed columnist would cleverly call us “a miniature United Nations.” But, right now, try this one on for size: “Blended Friends.” Works for me!
And I know it works for Samir Meleika, Shirley Pru, Sung Won Lee, Jerry Chuck, Joe Juarez, Janice Helmer, Yenette Chow, Ruben Martinez, Kyung Kim, Olga and Jaime Diaz, Sharon Corey, Eloise Lushbough, Susan Lu, Tony Su, Peter Darmanian, Shu-Lin Tsai, Lan Trinh. The list goes on to include Patricia Chow, Mary Coolman, Linly Greninger, Wendy Kong, Susan Lam, Sophia Lin, Arthur Shek, Lily Teng, Amy Trieu and Virginia Wong.
They are the “heart” of Temple City’s Senior Café program. Drop by any week day around half past eleven o'clock to look us over, your first cup of coffee is on me!
In spare moments between checking in the day’s guests, serving a cup of coffee/tea/water to the early arrivals, preparing tables for today’s lunch and tableware for tomorrow’s menu, these "BFF" offer up snippets of information that tell of their hopes and dreams, their likes, their frustrations, their fears, their remembrances of family and distant homelands left behind, in delightfully-accented voices that take me “home again” where Pig Latin was my second language. I am reminded once again….the inhabitants of this Good Earth are far more alike than different. And that is really a good thing!
No room for lamentations in this Blog. Admittedly, there were a few moments a year ago when I asked myself if there could possibly be a “life after 60 plus years of league bowling?”
The dual personalities in this Golden Girl say, “You bet your cotton-pickin’ heart there is!”
Or...as I learned in Ms. Gladys Kluever's first year Latin class: "Amo, Amas, Amat"