In My Own Shoes: Emails from Stanley: A Lesson in Transitions | Guest columns

The dictionary definition of a transition is “a change or passage from one state or subject to another, usually gradual”.

You’ve probably heard it before. Old people are a lot like children…they don’t have a filter.

Usually when people make this statement they are referring to someone who may have lived so long that their cognitive abilities might not be as sharp as they were 20 or 30 years ago. That’s true for many, but not for Stanley. Stanley always said what he thought, moving from topic to topic without even pausing for a verbal comma or catching his breath. He just spilled his mind… and his guts. Stanley never knew transitions.

Stan turned 90 last January, and frankly, I see little difference in the former client and friend I left 39 years ago when we left New York State. He still eats like a young man…everything in sight, still cleaning his plate, yet his weight seems to have held on. He still drives, lives in the original house he occupied when he first married, has been a serious stamp collector since age 8, reads two newspapers religiously every day, and has opinions on politics. , government, local issues, the “woke” generation, the price of food, how much he misses his recently deceased 69-year-old wife; and above all, college sports, minor leagues and major leagues.

Along the way, Stan’s sons taught him the basics of computing. He now communicates much more frequently by e-mail. But he has absolutely no idea how to get from one subject to another, which makes his correspondence not only thought-provoking, but humorous, entertaining and yet refreshingly honest. Really, in the end, what more could you ask of anyone? So I thought I’d give you some “Stanley Prose” samples to take you away from your own challenges and transitions for a few minutes and maybe put a smile on your face.

(A couple of clarifications before we get started: When Stan talks about “the team” or “the Orange,” he’s referring to Syracuse University football. Even though I’ve been referred to as “Ro” throughout the high school and college, his mention of “Ro” is a nod to his dearly deceased wife, Rosalie).

“Orange won tonight 48-14. Next week is Purdue here at the JMA Wireless Dome, and it will be different because they have a good team. By the way, the Mezzalingua guy who owns the Dome name, who I was dealing with. He’s now a millionaire, I’m not, I think he still owes me. Rain on Sunday, so you’ll probably have it on Monday. Mark and I went to Golden Coral on Thursday night for dinner. It’s a buffet and quite good, but at 12:30 I had diarrhea. I had 10 colonoscopies. Our governor graduated from Syracuse. Today is Yom Kippur. I only fast until noon because I have diabetes. I drive a 2011 Toyota Camry, it is still in mint condition and has 44,000 miles on it. Do you remember the ironing board with the soda bottle and the stopper to dampen the clothes? We have a new quarterback. All electric cars by 2035? Democrats need to do drugs.

“Football is a brutal sport. The injuries are sometimes serious. Since they won’t ban it, it’s interesting to watch. Mark and I had dinner at Tully’s. I like their seafood platter, but it gives me gas later. Today Clemson played at Wake Forest, and there were two overtimes. It was a good game. Looks like Florida is going to have a hurricane next week. I don’t understand why people want to live where every two years they get criticized. (Writer’s note: Stan has spent his entire life in Syracuse where the average winter brings 156 inches of snow!)

“The Orange game was so unbalanced that the 3rd and 4th quarters were shortened to 10 minutes each instead of 15. The next time they book a game like this, everyone should be admitted for just one I heard from Ro’s cousin in Florida, no loss of property, and she never removed furniture from her porch Numbers, she was never the brilliant cousin Hundreds of cars flooded. My colon isn’t doing so well today. Have a great week.”

I emailed him back and asked if he knew what a transition was. His answer ?

“I’ve been a man for 90 years, why change now?”

Rona Mann has been a freelance writer for The Sun for 21 years, including her “In Their Shoes” articles. She can be reached at [email protected] or 401-539-7762.

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