Sunday, March 26, 2023

Pomponio Beach / Keeping in touch with old friends / Possibilities

My third oldest friend (since 1979) is still in the hospital as an "outpatient admit," which means that she can't be transferred to an extended care facility under Medicare.  She is doing better but is still not in any shape to be discharged to live at home alone and has no funds for private pay care.  Her POA for healthcare continues to appeal to the powers that be who wish to discharge her.  Her POA's husband is a musician and came to the hospital to play guitar and sing for her yesterday.  She had a palliative care consult and it was determined that, despite having Parkinson's, she does not qualify for palliative care.  We just keep moving forward, one day at a time. 


My oldest living friend and I met in our high school physical education class.  I looked at her name written on her gym shorts:  B. Heard.  In my mind, it was "Be Heard." I smiled at her and said, "Hmmm .... Be Heard," she laughed, and so we've been friends ever since.  Our friendship began in September 1963.  She was with me when I met R on a beach not all that far north from this beach.  She is currently staying at Pajaro Dunes, having flown from New York as she has done since the mid-1970s.  She and her husband visited Pajaro Dunes when they first met and returned every year until he died.  He asked that his ashes be scattered on the beach at Pajaro Dunes.  My friend will continue to visit Pajaro Dunes as many years as she can.

My friend and I were Beatles fans from the moment we saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.  We went together to the last Beatles concert which took place at Candlestick Park in August 1966.  In the previous June, we had listened together to my copy of Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" for the very first time at the house where she lived with her parents and siblings.  

In 1967, a week after graduating from high school, we went to the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Mt. Tamalpais and sat outside listening to The Doors and other bands. Soon after that we went to the Monterey Pop Festival together for Ravi Shankar's first American performance.  She moved to the Haight-Ashbury during the early summer of 1967 and invited me to Golden Gate Park to hear a free concert given by Janis Joplin when Janis was part of Big Brother and the Holding Company.  We went to a Donovan concert at the Cow Palace, just south of San Francisco.  She came to visit me when I was living in the dorms for my freshman year at UC Irvine.  I introduced her to the music of Leonard Cohen.  R had introduced me to the music of Leonard Cohen.  My friend and I went to two Tim Buckley concerts -- one at Winterland and the second one some years later in a small club in Palo Alto.  

We both were and still are avid readers.  All those years ago, we took long walks together just outside the city limits of Redwood City and along the San Mateo County Coast in Half Moon Bay and talked about music, our dreams for our futures, and life in general.

We haven't seen each other in person since she married and left California to live in Rochester, New York, in the 1970s.  For years we wrote letters to keep in touch.  In recent years, we talk at length on the phone every so often.  We always talk on the phone when she is staying at the ocean.  She sends me videos and photos of ocean we both love.

There were periods when we were out of close touch, especially during the years she was raising her three sons, but we never lost touch for long.  There was a time in 1970 when our friendship was strained to the limit.  In my anger and confusion during that year R was in Vietnam, I distanced myself but we worked that out by the end of 1971.  


From the "On Being Project" today:

I love "On Being."  The archives are a treasure that will likely be a resource for me for the rest of my life.


NewRobin13 said...

What a lovely long friendship you've had with her. I love all the shows you saw together and that you've kept in touch all these years. I wish her well in every way.

beth coyote said...

I have that old friend too. So much history and love between us. We talk on the phone and I visited her a few years ago before the pandemic. She still makes me laugh out loud.

Linda said...

The language you use conjures the feelings in my heart. I can see the two of you, dancing, laughing, listening to music. Beautiful, just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful longtime friendship, one of life’s true riches.