Column 1: Falling is a word

Martinez News-Gazette Columnist

FALLING IS A WORD we use for a number of activities, each one denoting some movement, some good, some not so good. Thus, when adding ‘ down’, as in falling down, it conjures up some ugly pictures in the mind. It can become very personal. Such was the case with this aging columnist a couple weeks ago when, excited watching the unusual hail storm in Alhambra Valley piling up on our patio deck, haste brought on the ‘down’, as in falling down. An action which no one wants to experience, especially in later years!

All of a sudden I was crashing face down on our slate floor realizing, as I fell, that a knee and forehead were hitting first, other parts following, of course. Now, three weeks later, after x-rays (three), a CAT scan, some poking and rubbing, not-so-speedy recovery is underway. My orthopaedic surgeon assures that return to OK status will occur.

Anyone who has experienced hospital time, depending upon what ails you, including emergency room attention, can expect follow-up care by a group of caring medical folks…home care nurse, physical therapy and occupational therapy experts, a wound nurse, each providing very detailed attention. No complaints from this patient. However, it does tend to cut into ‘rehab’ nap time.

Each of my wonderful visitors expressed concern for my ability to get around the house via walker or with a cane. Each needed to be assured that I was not a ‘falling risk’. Thus some practice runs watching for those ‘things’ in every home which can cause another fall, something which is terrifying to consider.

Because a lot of sitting with feet raised, and ice packs on the wounded area, nearly everyone will experience some ‘irritation’ on the posterior of the ailing body. That is also a medical caregiver’s concern, so each of the lovely visitors needed to check this old columnist’s posterior. Once determined that there could be some irritation if not treated with some ointment, the check and application of the ointment became part of each visit. Again, no complaints here. Such attention to my posterior I’ve never experienced. However, it appears ‘the end is in view’. (pun intended!!)

Meanwhile, as loving daughters most often do, one came from Hailley, Idaho, and one from Campbell to assure that Jeanne and I were being well-cared for. A nice three days of togetherness to ease the pains of falling down. Best advice: watch for items which can trip you and cause great trauma. Warm hands in blue plastic gloves are really nice. However, not falling down is better.

Oh, I guess I was dwelling on the adventure and forgot to mention the results of the crash. A couple small bones around the knee were broken. The walker, the recliner, the ice pack and lots of water are all doing well. Onward and upward, or something! Should I add ‘bottoms up’, or would that be pushing it? Just live with the ice pack, water and visitors.

“MR. MAYOR” was always my greeting to John Sparacino, a longtime friend and Martinez icon. It just seemed like something which felt ‘good’ between two friends who respected each other and enjoyed being together for a brief moment, or longer discussion. Such it was going back several decades when Mr. Mayor was our civic leader. The friendship went back longer than that to when John came back from service in the Navy in WWII. As a young ‘hometown kid’ with a perky personality and always a bright outlook. While his presence downtown grew as a haberdasher providing quality goods for Martinez’ men, so did his reputation. His outgoing demeanor was infectious. While short in stature, he was large in personality. He was a member of the prominent, proud and popular Sparacino family.

As nearly every political campaign came along over the many years past, I could count on a phone call from John to ‘just chat about things’. Sometimes the chat was about a specific candidate. Sometimes about issues of the day and how we felt. Always was well worth the visit.

Much has been said about John Sparacino in the past week or so. Many Martinez folks who did not know him from his clothier days or as our civic leader have learned about him from his obituary and articles. When I retired more than 25 years ago, a news clip from a retirement story commented that one of the first things I would do was finish painting my house. For several years after that, Mr. Mayor would check to see how I was doing with the painting. I will miss his calls.

ARE WE AT WAR? As this column is being put together, the Oval Office Occupant is Trumpeting that he will make our moves against the Syrian regime which poisons its own citizens. The ominous tone of his messages gives anyone of us the creepy feeling of the possibility that the military leaders’ recommendations might be ignored, and the great negotiator’s thought-of-the-moment might prevail. Hang on to your baseball caps and pray for logical thinking. The world is at stake.

OUR POLICE OFFICERS need citizenry support. Our City Council needs our support as the two vital groups struggle to provide us with a top-notch law enforcement organization. Funds are always limited in today’s society. Careful current planning needs to be part of long-range planning. Not easy at al.

CHEERS for the arrival of spring. More cheers for the rain it has brought with it. And, then, there is the snow falling in the mountains. Together they all make for a great happening.

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