Pop's Ticker

My father turned 88 last June, and I'm blessed he's in remarkable shape.  I want to take partial credit, because I'm into anti aging supplements from my doctor,and I pass the info along to my parents (Mom's nearly 86; more in another blog).  I kid my doctor, who has never met them, that he should consider them his "out patients."  Of course, I run whatever I plan to pass on by him before I do it.  It's really just basic stuff, like vitamins C, D3, fish oil, coQ10, Calcium/Magnesium, and a Multi.  These simple few will do wonders for you, too.

It must be working, because all their other doctors say thing like "Oh, what good blood values," or " you don't look your age."  More than a few times I've lent credibility to their ages by producing MY medicare card.

Anyway, back to Dad.  He does have a health concern which requires monitoring.  As a kid he had rheumatic  fever which left him with a murmur, and that valve involved had to be replaced 11 years ago.  He doesn't say much; he's always used words at a premium.  In fact, his yearbook caption said, "silence never makes any blunders.  So as the doctor asks his questions, I supplement Dad's yes and no answers with any embellishment needed.

"Do you smoke or drink?" the Doc asked.

"I don't smoke," Dad turned to me, as we both laughed.

The Doc agreed scotch with a lot of ice was therapeutic for him.  Then he said at the open doorway as we were wrapping up the visit,

"I don't get many chances to say this to my 88 year old patients, but I'll see you in a year."

The three of us smiled, then I saw the rest of the staff staring in disbelief.  Looking further into the waiting area I noticed a packed room of non erect gaits, pasty pallors, and noticeable discomforts from ailing.

I was reminded of my good fortune of health for my Dad.

I put on my chauffeur's cap, and we were on the way home.


  1. Dear Vit-a-man,

    I do think the herbal supplements you described (or prescribed) are a worthwhile selection of healthy intakes. My wife, daughter, and I also consume multi-multis etc. etc. I’m very comforted to hear that your parents are well at 88 and 86yrs, and that they are open to taking good herbal remedies along with your good vitamin advice. Most seasoned citizens aren’t so willing to accept anymore pills in their overflowing cup. You must be a diplomat! ;-)

    There is a certain endearing quality of character emanating from the Depression-era survivors like your folks that we sometimes overlook. Not only are they physically and mentally enduring, but they possess a special ingredient that keeps them ticking and kicking. I believe they have a life philosophy bred from their hard working and praying ancestors who were steeped in the witness of human suffering. They realized that there is an eternal purpose to our visit here.

    My mom is 89 years old and has said of this present day: “They took the reason for living out of the reason for living!” This may sound a bit repetitive, yet it’s quite profound in its own right. Just like your dad, she had rheumatic fever and a heart murmur when she was a child. Her father put a quarter on the other side of her room as she lay weakened from the illness, and beckoned her to walk across the room and retrieve it to see if she was exaggerating her infirmity. This was during the Depression and was probably one of the last pieces of eluding coinage he had saved. It would have bought a lot of candy if she could have mustered enough strength to make it out of her bed, but she couldn’t move a muscle. But she never let her faith be shaken in a merciful God who helped her make it through that crisis and many others in her life.

    My father, who is now among the faithfully departed, said in a moment of disillusionment with humanity: “The longer I live, the more I can’t understand people!” He was very well versed in human nature, being both a decorated WWII veteran and a public official for most of his life. Naturally, his numerous responsibilities caused him to become exhausted with life’s trials every so often. But in spit of this, he remembered what really mattered most in life and recited the “Hail Mary” on his deathbed in recognition of his dependence on heavenly intervention.

    In conclusion: You’re so very blest to have both your parents close at heart, and they are equally blest to have you, the fruit of their love, to care for them. They are a true testament of God-loving wholesome living. There is just no earthly supplement to substitute for a faith-filled marriage made in heaven! ;-D

    The Wellative

    P.S. Please ask your mom to remember her Aunt Marie in her Rosary. She passed away on Sept 10, 1957.

  2. I have to stand corrected: we are related. However, your bio and this last comment has me confused. Your bio says female, your comment alludes to your wife. Are you Jackie or Bruce? Anyway, I'm glad your Mom, Lucy, is still with you. Your father, "Bal" and my mom were very close as kids.

    As an anecdote, there is a Hosteria Balestri in Florence, not far from the Ponte Vecchio. I spoke to the grandson, and he said they were originally from Siena, but the picture of his grandma over the front desk was the spittin image of mine.

    Sorry for the delete. I just thought some of the things said were inappropriate.

  3. Dear Noah,

    Since you have determined that I am indeed one of your species, and I have thus been accepted into the Ark as a “relative passenger”, I now feel at ease in the knowledge that I don’t have to cease to exist. It would be most difficult to maintain the doggie paddle for eons waiting for the next relative with an ark of a blog to pull me aboard!

    In my first post on your prehistoric funny story blog, I was throwing a dinosaur bone your way to make sure that you were really of Castellini/Balestri ancient ancestry lineage. When you told me that you were certain we were not faith in humanity was truly shaken, and I was reduced to burying my bones in the back yard of my fading memory.

    Now since you have decided to make me one of your breed, I am rough and ready to dig up all of the tidbits of the past, beginning with your favorite pastime...Basketball!

    Did you know that my father had a court on top of the rocks just above your family’s land on the Balestri property where your uncles joined in pick-up games? Maybe that is where the b-ball-bug gnawed its way into your gopher wood hull where it has remained infested with the saw dust of yesteryears, making itself manifest in the “Ark”.

    I guess you may be wondering how I originally found your blog. Well, it was initially sparked by my rediscovery of a letter that your sweet mama sent me on 1-26-88, just after she and your dear ol’ dad moved to N.C. She, in her gracious way, was thanking me for sending her a copy of the last letter that her beloved papa, Primo, had written to my grandfather just before her dad passed away. Its contents were very touching as he movingly expressed how much their relationship as brothers-in-law had meant to him.

    I often think of your special parents fondly as I remember a visit to their house at the Jersey Shore in the 80’s while on the road to Atlantic City doing my Vaudeville songs & comedy routine. Your mom very observantly told me as she listened to our adventures that I was my singing partner’s human paint brush, since he was an Ed Norton type and often made statements that had to be touched up a bit! She is such a smart cookie and was so very hospitable that it was difficult to leave her warmth and head to the cold coast of A.C. with its neon lights and frozen-faced, frenzied one-armed bandits!

    In conclusion, I was wondering if your folks were still in N.C. so I could write or call them. I looked on line to see if they were hopefully still in existence, and I came across this funny looking older guy with a few funny stories….strikingly similar to my bio! The rest is Family History! If you’re thinking that I may dress in pink because of the “Pearl of Tyburn” handle, you can rest at ease; it is my 17 year old daughter’s Google username that she lets her old man use once and awhile. She also has an email address that I use: . If you’d like to pick up the conversation there, feel free to do so!

    Mr. B-Wella