Keep on keepin’ on

Murray the dog, the cutest creature in the world, looked up at me the other day with his pink tongue hanging out and said, “Pops, I’m really worried about you. This fund drive at WAMC has really knocked you out. Do you think you should be working this hard at your age?”

This is what I said to that cute little Westie: “Murray, there are days I wish that Literacy Network of the Southern Berkshires hadn’t taught you how to speak. It’s as if you have the ability to read my mind.”

“Well,” said Murray, “I’m still waiting. To be blunt, Pops, isn’t it about time you retired? Some people wait too long and then they do something really stupid and their entire body of work is besmirched. Didn’t you once tell me about that doctor relative of yours who kept practicing until he was very old and just messed one thing and had to retire under a cloud?

“Just look at Helen Thomas. She’s 90 years old and has screwed up an entire career because she said something really intolerable and stupid about the Jewish people. Don’t you worry that you’ll say something stupid?”

“Well, Murray,” I responded, “I suspect Madam Thomas has harbored all these thought for many years and they just came pouring out. If she was pure of mind she would have had nothing to worry about.”

“You are such a smart pup,” I told wonderful Murray. “But I love what I do and even though it is very, very hard work, it is incredibly rewarding.”

Murray looked at me and said, “Now Pops, let’s consider this an intervention. I’m going to be brutally frank with you. You know that Mom has always wanted to travel and I think it’s only right that in your later years you should do what she wants to do.”

“That’s another thing, Murray. If we were traveling, who would take care of you? You know I’m sensitive about my health. If I wasn’t fully occupied, I think I’d start to fixate on my belly button and mutter about dying. Pretty soon I’d stare at that belly button so much that I’d be mumbling,

‘”There’s something not right here. Not only that, I like my own bathroom and my Water-Pik and my electric tooth brush. I don’t like toting my meds around with me. Nope, traveling is NOT for me.”

“Well, Pops, the Berkshires are filled with retired people who lead very rewarding lives. They have organizations like OLLI and speakers. You could involve yourself with them and with wonderful programs like the Railroad Youth Project and Volunteers in Medicine. Hey, if you were really bored you could run for the Board of Selectmen and give those people a piece of your mind.”

“Murray, are you crazy? Been there — done that. You’ve got to be a masochist to be selectman. Young people like Sean Stanton are the new thing. He’s brilliant. Why just the other day at the Farmers Market he told me that he was opposed to the town engineers trying to widen streets like Hollenbeck Avenue. He told me that people should just drive slower. Why would I want to do his job? He’s doing it just fine.”

“Pops, I think that you’re worried that you have special talents that are irreplaceable; that no one can run a fund drive like you can and that WAMC needs you to stay afloat. That’s just naive. I mean, someday you are going to run out of steam.

“Do you really think no one else can get on the air and raise $800,000? I think you underestimate the staying power of the radio station. I really think you ought to cash it in.”

“Well, Murray” I said, to the cute little dog, “I am so thankful that you are not a cat. You are so smart and maybe you’re right but, for now I think I better do what my instincts tell me to do. I’ll stay put although I will admit that last fund drive really knocked me out.”

Murray looked over his little white shoulder at me and said, as he took off at 60 miles per hour after his favorite chipmunk which he never catches,

“I undertsand all about chipmunks. Pops, I love you and just want you to know that.”

I love that dog.

Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 6/12/10

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One Comment on “Keep on keepin’ on”

  1. Kay Abraham Says:

    Alan this is not about this post. First, congratulations on the fund drive. Second, I listened to the President’s speech tonight and the interview and comentary after the speech and I am almost speechless! I say almost because I whipped off a complaint to the NPR Ombudsman ASAP. Mara or Maura Liason (however you spell it) interviewed a woman from one of hte oil-based parrishes down there in LA. This woman was angry about the 6-month moritorium on deep-water drilling, and that’s all she spoke of. about how Obama was “willing to sacrifice the lives of so many Lousiana workers” for his own pleasure, apparently. This woman gave a 3 minute screed against the president and it was not coherent in any way, and yet she was never challenged, just let to yell on and on. Then after her ML turned to an in-house expert on how the President was so umpolular and didn’t give any details about his plans—-on and on, with no counter opinions. No scientist or environmentalist, no oil business expert, just this angry woman who must work for BP and then a smart-ass poll person. I am so annoyed and the only one I could think of to complain to (other than the faceless “ombudsman”. was you. Other than filing my letter of complaint to NPR I guess I’m wanting you to be as upset as I am. And that’s not fair seeing how hard you worked last week! Anyway……cheers, I guess.

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