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Editorial: The bell tolled for me


OK, it's a few days late to throw out something that might qualify as being in the Halloween spirit. It's not scary in any way, but it might be a little bit spooky.

I'll set the stage: My Grandma Jackie was sick. Although we didn't live in a big house, Grandma was isolated in her downstairs bedroom. She had a little bell to ring when she needed something. It was loud enough so the sound would travel from her room around two corners and the pass-through kitchen to the den, where the rest of the family generally hung out.

I remember hearing the bell on occasion and I suppose there were a few times when I helped in some small way.

As it turned out, Grandma died a few days before the president was assassinated in Dallas.

A few months later I was in the den, practicing for adulthood by sprawling on the couch watching the TV. Mom was at the table by the kitchen, either reading or sewing.

And both of us heard the bell ring. I remember we looked up at each other at the same time. And I knew we were the only people in the house.

"Did you hear that?" Mom asked. I nodded.

Later - well before dark - I went to Grandma's former room. I mentioned the house wasn't particularly large, but it was built in a way that encouraged only about 60 percent of it to be used. After the kitchen, I made my way through one big room to the small hall that had two doors - one to a bathroom, the other to Grandma's room. I nudged the bedroom door open and saw nothing had changed. The bell was at its usual spot on the table, which was located between the bed and the closet.

I don't know what I was expecting to see, but I was kind of relieved to see the bell right where it was supposed to be.

As for that scratching noise coming from the closet - well, that's another story.

•••

The football players on the Lee Williams High roster are the luckiest in town, though they may not realize it.

David Ward, the football coach at Kingman High, summed it up in Friday's Miner when discussing the Bulldogs' game at Mohave High, the last of the year for KHS while LWHS and Kingman Academy High were wrapping up their seasons playing each other.

Some football players, Ward said, can play at the next level. Others can't. "Some will never play again, and you can't go back in time," he said of the seniors. "I always tell the kids, 'Don't play for the coach. Play for the love of the game.'"

I was too slow to have a chance to play football at the big high school I attended in Oklahoma as a sophomore, but I fit right in when the family moved to a small town in Wyoming for my junior and senior years.

And unlike basketball and baseball, where you can get some guys together and play some version of the sport, the opportunity to struggle into those football pants and throw on the shoulder pads just one more time doesn't happen for most of us after high school. It almost seems unfair.

Forty-some odd years later, I still dream about playing football.

That's why everyone on the LWHS roster is lucky. The oldest players at the new school are sophomores. They have two years to go, two more years to put on the pads and knock heads, to fly around and hit someone and be hit.

Boys, don't waste that opportunity. And this message is for players at all three high schools in Kingman.

You can't go back in time. Take it from the coach - and from a guy who wishes he could do it again.

•••

"So, how do you feel about the Affordable Care Act?"

I've been asking doctors that question for a while now, hit or miss, and lately it's a question I always ask at some point during a doctor visit. The results are far from scientific, but my bride and I do talk as patients to a lot more doctors now than we did years ago. That's what happens when you get old.

So far I've only gotten one positive response, this from a specialist months before the Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law. At the time he told me the law might not necessarily be good for me, but it would be good for most people. By "me," I think he was referring to people with insurance.

Aside from that doctor, though, the responses have all been negative, including a shockingly profane outburst from one of the mildest-mannered doctors I've dealt with.

If you are a doctor and have an opinion about the Affordable Care Act - good or bad - we'd like to hear from you. We want to know how the ACA will impact your practice, your patients and your patience.

Give me a call at (928) 753-6397, ext. 222, or call reporter Kim Steele at 753-6397, ext. 229. If you prefer email, rthurlow@kdminer.com and ksteele@kdminer.com work for us. Let's talk.




 

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