Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Finally Found Out …

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… how to read traffic signals in Aridzona:

Red is JUST MISSED MAKING IT ACROSS THE ROAD.

Green is I’M GOING ACROSS THE ROAD.

Yellow is GO LIKE HELL TO GET ACROSS THE ROAD.

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Written by Cecil Scaglione

June 21, 2017 at 7:57 am

Be it Ever so Jumbled — er, Humble

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We’re still asked – at least a couple of times a day – why we moved to Aridzona.

And have to explain away that look of askance when the questioners learn we’ve moved here from San Diego.

This move from paradisiacal Pacific Beach cooled by a breeze that’s kissed some 7,000 miles of ocean to the middle of Aridzona was seeded years ago when Bev began a campaign to move close to daughter and grandkids.

I saw no reason to leave the Golden State and the best climate in the galaxy until …

While delivering Meals on Wheels for more than nine years (woulda got my 10-year pin this summer), I watched a couple of dozen people struggle mightily to age in their homes. They were engaging and smiling when I first knocked on their door. Gradually, they would take a bit longer to answer, the house became darker and, soon after, strangers (caregivers — usually in hospital scrubs) would take the meal from me and the man of the house, or the woman, or both might wave from a chair as they oozed too quickly into a drooling sleeping lump. Instead of being cared for in a bright, active aging-assistance community by strangers, they were being cared for in their rotting residence by a series of strangers.

I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Memories and mental images also were recalled of trauma experienced by mentaly slipping family members when they were uprooted from their homes and transported to – “tossed into” is a more accurate description – senior “facilities.”

I didn’t want that to happen to me.

Late last year, Bev had spinal surgery to alleviate (and hopefully repair) nerve damage in her right arm and hand. While she was in hospital, I realized I probably cannot live alone for any length of time. When she came home and I had to minister to her after surgery. I also realized I couldn’t maintain that level of care if she needed it for any length of time.

So the decision was made to make a move. If we were going to move into what now is called an “independent living” community, we might as well look at moving in Bev’s direction – to Aridzona.

During our Christmas visit to the Grand Canyon State with the grandkids last year, I asked everyone – almost stopped people on the street — what they liked and didn’t like about the place. Without hesitation, they all pointed out that there are four months of hell – The Summer Heat. The rest of the year is great.

We knew from visiting that everything here is cheaper than in California — gasoline, health insurance, auto insurance, groceries, taxes, housing, everything.

One day in the shower, I looked down at one of my hands. It was the hand of an old man. I also realized that, should Bev fall, I could no longer pick her up. And, if I fell, she sure as heck couldn’t pick me up.

Friends and family concerned that we “weren’t ready” for an old-farts’ facility urged us to buy a condo before hurling ourselves pell mell into a senior citizens’ complex. That didn’t solve our picking-each-other-up dilemma. If we moved into a condo, we’d still have face a move into a senior citizens’ community. And when would we be “ready.”

We came to realize that folks move into such facilities either too early or too late. In our case, it was too early. BUT, we made our own decision..

And it was time.

–30–

 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

June 3, 2017 at 9:09 pm

Driving With ‘Zonies

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It took a couple of months after moving to Aridzona, but we finally found something with which all Grand Canyon Staters seem to agree, without realizing they’re talking about themselves:

Aridzona Drivers Are Idiots

This is something Californians have known for decades because of the annual ‘Zonies infestation from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

One example: Drivers here never look to the side when changing lanes or pulling out of a side street or parking lot or … you get the idea.

This (mal)practice manifested itself publicly a few weeks ago when a self-driven Uber vehicle was involved in a traffic accident in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. The accident occurred because the human driver behind the wheel of the other vehicle didn’t yield the right of way.

We should have realized this reality when we got our Aridzona drivers’ licenses. I’m 82 and my spouse just turned 75. We drove up to the MVD — Motor Vehicle Department here – showed them our California drivers’ licenses and our passports, had our pictures taken, paid them $20 ($10 for each of us) and got our new drivers’ licenses good for the next five years.

That was it. And the Phoenix metroplex wound up with a couple more old farts who weren’t even asked if they knew what side of the road to drive on or had their vision checked.

So we’re now ‘Zonies officially but you’ll recognize us because we still look to the side before entering an intersection or changing lanes or coming out of a parking lot or … well you get the idea.

— 30 —

Written by Cecil Scaglione

June 1, 2017 at 8:10 am

Posted in A Musing

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We Haven’t Made it Yet . . .

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. . . even though we moved in at the end of last month. Reality of the change still has to sink in.

After several decades in our Pacific Beach home that was air-conditioned by Pacific breezes, we relocated at the end of last month to an Independent-Living apartment complex in Gilbert, abutting the Phoenix suburbs of Mesa and Tempe in Aridzona.

The quarters are spacious and comfortable, the location is handy to everything we need – banks, eateries, shopping malls, post office and medical-care offices and clinics – all our meals are provided when we decide not to prepare anything in our own kitchen, the folks are friendly, and we’re just 15 minutes from our daughter and the grandkids.

The move requires leaving our son in San Diego and adjusting to community living as well as the dry desert climate that, we’ve been told by everyone, is H E L L for four months every year.

Besides the voluminous amount of phone calls and document changes, we’re also snowed under with too much stuff. Getting rid of that has become a major priority. No. 1 is changing auto registration and driver’s license. No. 2 is lining up doctor appoints. Stuff-elimination is No. 3.

 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 7, 2017 at 9:24 am

While “Do Unto Others” …

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xit. . . butters the skids that silkens society, the 11th Commandment (which was among the five commandments lost when, according to Mel Brooks, Moses dropped the third tablet coming down the mountain), is much more important:

Thou shalt not get in the way

 

— especially in department store doorways, single-lane roads, viewpoints established to take panoramic scenic take-home pictures…and anywhere else.

Written by Cecil Scaglione

February 14, 2017 at 5:03 am

Perry Mason’s Mysteries Rooted in Ventura

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perrymason1A triangular buttress supports the Mission San Buenaventura

facade that was fractured by an 1812 earthquake.

— Cecil Scaglione photo

 

By Beverly Rahn, Mature Life Features

VENTURA, Calif. —- One of the biggest mysteries to locals is why the ghost of Erle Stanley Gardner hasn’t lured more visitors to his home town.

Hundreds of thousands of tourists and travelers, most of them from the sprawling Los Angeles metropolis an hour away on the portion of Highway 101 that’s called the Ventura Freeway, visit Santa Barbara next door each year.

They drive right by the Pierpont Inn, where the creator of Perry Mason went for victory dinners after his successes in the nearby Ventura County courthouse. It was straightforward country-lawyer cuisine — steak, baked potato and green salad —  but it’s no longer on the inn’s regular menu. Nowadays, you should try the bouillabaisse.

Gardner began his 150-novel career, which he launched with a short story using the pseudonym Charles M. Green, in his second-floor law office at California and Main streets overlooking downtown’s commercial core.

He didn’t have to turn to writing to achieve success, said Richard Senate, who has written about Ventura’s most famous resident and bills himself as a tour guide and ghost hunter.

“Erle Stanley Gardner was a good lawyer and probably would have become at least a California Supreme Court judge,” Senate said.

“He was a founder of the Downtown Lions Club and the Elks Club here. But he was — he would have liked to have been — Perry Mason. He actually did pull off some of the stunts that appeared in the Perry Mason books, movies, radio shows, comic books and television shows.

“To keep from getting mixed up with his settings, Gardner used this courtroom, his office and the views from each of them as models for his settings.”

Visitors to the real courtroom enter the City of Buenaventura — that’s the official name of the municipality popularly known as Ventura — city hall through its bronze sliding grilled entrance adorned with depictions of lima beans. (“Ventura was once the lima-bean capital of the world,” Senate explained.)

Railway officials shortened the city’s name because it was too long for their schedules.

The civic center, perched on a hill overlooking Gardner’s office and the Pacific, served as a courthouse until it was scheduled for demolition after a 1962 earthquake. The city bought it for $140,000 and spent $4 million making it quake-proof. The prototype of Perry Mason’s courtroom is on the second floor.

“After World War II, a young Navy officer named George Bush came here with his family in 1949 to learn the oil business,” Senate said.

Keeping an eye on the comings and goings in front of City Hall is a bronze statue of Fr. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan friar who founded Mission San Buenaventura in 1782.

The mission, a half-dozen blocks below the civic center, features a triangular buttress across its face — a support installed after an 1812 earthquake fractured its face. Also visible are two metal crosses imbedded on each side of the front door. These are assurances that the building will remain operating as a Roman Catholic church into perpetuity.

Visitors can circle these two complexes on a variety of walking and motor tours of such attractions as blocks of Victorian houses, oil-boom mansions from the 1920s, flower gardens, some three-dozen antique boutiques downtown alone, and a meandering string of art studios, galleries and workshops.

Senate offers an array of spirited attractions. On the list are ghost-and-ghoul hunts in and around City Hall, Pierpont Inn and various downtown restaurants, a trip back to 3,000-year-old artifacts left by ancestors of the present-day Chumash Indians, and an opportunity at attempting to unravel the location of Mission San Buenaventura’s legendary treasure chest crammed with gold and silver.

But there are more than mansions, missions and mysteries to experience in this coastal community a $30 shuttle ride from Los Angeles International Airport.

Ventura’s oceanfront harbor, which offers marine diversions to please visitors of all ages, is embraced by a 125-year-old pier and 33 acres of galleries, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes. Boats shuttle several times a day to and from the Channel Islands for hiking, picnicking, snorkeling and camping.

Prices and times vary for the crossing but whatever vessel you choose is worth it just to watch the dozens of porpoise pods slip, slide, slap, soar, swoop and swish all around your boat as pelicans patrol overhead. You might also encounter orcas or gray, minke, humpback or blue whales.

Twenty minutes southeast of town, the Ronald Reagan presidential library is enshrined atop a Simi Valley hill. One visitor declared, after seeing the reproduced Oval Office, “I could sense the power of the presidency.”

 

–30–

 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

January 8, 2017 at 8:37 pm

We Know Music Soothes …

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frankiestein

… the savage beast and the soul,

but chocolate does a pretty good job, too.

 

Written by Cecil Scaglione

December 30, 2016 at 9:02 am

Posted in Humor / Quote

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