|No, this reporter was not taking a pizza order from |
Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. at the U.S. Capitol.
Well, yes, I admit under questioning that I enjoyed a suite at Mar-a-Lago at a time when Donald J. Trump may have been building towers with a child’s erector set. It was about the time of my first visit to the White House, too, but I was there because I was a young reporter. The only newspapers I ever owned I bought for a nickel a copy.Edward F. Hutton, the stock broker who invited me to the home he and Marjorie Merriweather Post built in Palm Beach, did not know that my bedroom suite in his home was larger than my basement apartment, where there wasn’t even a butler. I think Hutton would have voted for Trump, but I’m not so sure about the 40 servants who kept Mar-a-Lago dust-free and hospitable.
Newspaper reporting was fun most of the time, except maybe at the coffee machine at the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, a smoky jewel of the Hearst empire in the days before an Australian fellow became the news emperor. There was foxy news, but no Fox News, in the late 1940’s.
Neither was there anything called multiple system atrophy. The disease was around for quite a while, but it was treated as three separate ailments. It wasn’t much more than 15 years ago when my neurologist diagnosed sporadic olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA), which is now called multiple system atrophy (MSA). Same dizziness, same pains, same tumbles, same tendency for patients to talk about it whenever they can corner a listener. Same all of that but they were known as three diseases. Diagnosis takes time. There’s plenty of time because the disease has no cure.
Now that I’m 92 I still enjoy life with my daughter Marie and son-in-law Mark Veldman. Living with them, and being in close contact with son John and his wife Pam, along with son David and his wife Toni, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild expected soon, is the best medicine.
MSA, which some say was invented by the Marquis de Sade, whose name inspired the word sadism, is said by others to have been invented in an overheated cellar pungent with sulphur fumes. MSA sharpens arthritis in people’s fingers, makes feet shuffle, trip and puff up with gout. It does noisy things inside heads, interferes with the swallowing apparatus, sneaks in a Jeopardy memory game that has neither questions nor answers. And so on.
Thank you for reading this far, and thanks for your friendship. MSA has imposed low speed limits on everything its impatients do. I used to get fully dressed faster than I now pull on a pair of socks, and computer keyboards mock me when I start touch-typing. My notes on Facebook and Wall’s Paper are switching from Central Standard Time to MSA Saving Time. I’ll miss making greeting cards and tuning in regularly to Facebook. Every once in a while when you feel a mild thunk in your head you’ll know I’m thinking of you.