11 October 2010

Getting Older

As time marches on I notice my appointment book seems to show an increasing number of doctor appointments and funerals. This past weekend, after a touchdown, or more likely between innings, I managed to read the obituary of an old friend, Ed Popp, who just cashed in his chips at age 91. I had seen Ed and Sarah Popp in their shared room at Valley Nursing Home a few months ago and was planning on seeing them again with a playbill from the funeral of the pastor, John Akre, we shared for some years at Peace Lutheran back in the 80s and 90s of the last century. Alas, too late.

In addition to sharing a pastor for an hour or so on Sunday morning Ed and I spent a couple of hours together sharing a box seat at the home Mustang games. This was from the early '80s to sometime in the early 21st century when Ed couldn't muster up the strength anymore. I had hoped to persuade him to come along to a game at the new Dehler Park but it wasn't to be either. He was about my deceased father's age so it was good to have a guy like him to share the game of life and baseball with. In addition to the Mustangs he had lots of memories of other teams and their players from the time that Cobb Field had opened in 1948. He used to take young Mustangs to lunch. We had really good seats at the far end of the Mustangs' first base line dugout, first row of course.

Sometime back in the 80s Ed, not usually much of a talker, started describing some work he had been doing but had to stop because he became weak and short of breath. Of course, if something exciting happened on the field we would suspend our conversations. When he asked what I thought I told him it might be a good idea to check with his cardiologist. I didn't see him for maybe six weeks and when he returned he told me I was right: he needed a coronary artery bypass operation, which he had just had and was feeling a lot better. He never let me forget my advice and paid me off with tomatoes and cucumbers from his garden.

The pictures above are from Ed's obituary. I notice that they are doing this more and more these days. It started with the 50 year anniversary pictures compared and contrasted with the wedding pictures, a sort of before and after record of the effect of living a long life with each other. These pictures are of Ed when he was fairly young and then fairly old. I have a mental image of him somewhere in between these two extremes with an umbrella to keep out the sun strapped to the fence above the home dugout; and watching him get Sarah's accordion ready for her to play and him with his guitar in their garage: the occasion, I don't remember, he and she just wanted to make us happy. RIP dear friend.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Ken. Good memories you've shared here, though.

:-( and :-)

Nicole M.

Ken & Carol said...

Thanks for your comment Nicole. Any suggestions for writing one's own obituary. I would favor a fairly short and brutally honest one but my wife and daughters are not in favor of that.

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