Cal Is Somebody To Love

Posted by: Kathy Harmon on 3/7/2011

Those of you who follow my blog know that I frequently share stories about my mother.  She joined a group called Alive and Kickin’ last year and it has changed her life.  The group consists of 18 individuals aged 62-93.  Cal is the eldest member.  One would guess his age at 20 years younger.  He is absolutely adorable both inside and out.   He has a lovely voice, a great personality, and a terrific sense of humor.  Cal constantly makes up lyrics about everyday activities. I swear if we were single and I was 30 years older, I’d stalk him like a cheetah.  This is a story about Cal. A
Alive and Kickin’ gets what they term “gigs.”  They’ve become quite popular.  A couple of weeks ago they were scheduled to sing at a convention of Baby Boomers in the ballroom of a major downtown hotel.  They had to be there at 7:30 a.m.  This created major anxiety over transportation, rush hour traffic and downtown parking.   A rather complicated carpooling and caravan system was devised where several members were to drive to Cal’s home and he would then drive or lead them to the hotel.  As my 86-year old mother was nervous about the event, my sister Sandy stayed the night to insure mother arose at 4:30 and drove her to Cal’s at 6:15.  When he hadn’t emerged by 6:30 they called and woke him.  He apologized profusely, saying that he had overslept and promised he’d be down in a few minutes.  One group left but my mom remained and within 15 minutes, Cal came rushing out with another apology.  Seems he’d fallen in the tub or he would have been down sooner. 

 Once they’d parked and located the ballroom, they climbed several steps to the stage, warmed up for about 45 minutes and then the ballroom doors opened to 1,500 attendees.  When everyone had settled in their seats they were treated to Let it Be, Celebration, We Are the Champions, Stand by Me, We Are The World and ten additional contemporary pieces.  They received a standing ovation.
Now, if you are 86 or 93 you may understand that climbing stairs or even standing for extended periods of time can be taxing, especially after getting little sleep the night before.  When the event concluded some of the group went to breakfast but Cal asked my mom if she minded if they just went home, which they did.

As my mom left the car she reached over to thank Cal for his kindness and noticed that his arm felt wet.  This troubled her; so later in the day she called Cal to check in on him.  His wife answered and said that Cal wasn’t home.  He had gone to the emergency room.  It seems that when he fell in the tub he got a rather nasty gash in the upper portion of his arm.  The group dresses in red, white and black.  Cal’s sport coat is a darker shade of red, which effectively camouflaged the effects of several hours of bleeding.  He finally agreed to get nine stitches after losing a substantial amount of blood. 

 Aside from his comment about a fall in the tub, Cal mentioned this to no one.  He didn’t whine and he showed up to do his part with a serous injury.  What ever happened to that belief system?  Maybe that’s why they are called “The Greatest Generation.”    
I've attached a video of one of their rehearsals in hopes it will make you smile and cheer.

Alive & Kickin' - We Will Rock You

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In the years has been online, we’ve received hundreds of e-mails from visitors asking questions about legal documents, how to start retirement planning in their 50's, as well as advice on traveling with grandpa and the kids and making everyone happy.   We’ve also received personal stories of triumph and tragedy including the creative, often humorous ways people cope with stress, relationships, balancing career and family, 70 hour work weeks, job loss and the "agony and defeat" they encountered starting a new company.   In our newsletter, I periodically share stories about my glorious 86 year old mother and have named a collection after her.  This is YOUR SPACE.  Ask for advice.  Share stories.  I love your e-mails. It's simple.  Just click here!