Saturday, December 01, 2018

Saturday 9

Call Me (1966)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) Chris Montez sings that you can always call him, regardless of the hour. Do you believe that it's ever too late to phone someone? Growing up, my mother always often told me that "polite people only call between 9:00 and 9:00." I still live by that.

2) He insists that you can depend on him, even when your friends desert you. Who is someone you can trust to have your back, no matter what? I'm pretty lucky in this regard. I have good friends. I was touched the other night when my friend Kathleen told me I should reach out and depend on her more.

3) Billy Crystal serenades Meg Ryan -- via answering machine -- with "Call Me" in When Harry Met Sally. Answering machines have been replaced by voice mail. Who most recently left you a voice mail? Lifesource wanted me to donate blood.

4) Chris Montez is a graduate of El Camino College in Torrance, California. The average daytime temperature in November in Torrance is 70ยบ. How is the weather where you are today? Rain and mid-30s.

5) Today Chris actively promotes a healthy lifestyle to children. He was honored for his efforts by the group SOPA (Stop Obesity, Promote Activity). Do you believe you get enough exercise? HA! Hell to the no.

6) Released in late 1965, "Call Me" became a big hit in 1966, reaching #2 on the charts. Even though it sold millions of copies and was certified as a Gold Record, it never hit #1. Is winning, or being the best, important to you? Not really. I think I lack a certain killer instinct.
7) In 1966, when this was playing on juke boxes, kids were watching Batman and Star Trek. If you had your choice of watching an episode right now, which would you choose: Star Trek or Batman? Batman. Always. Adam West was freaking magnificent.


8) Also in 1966, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was born. Do you enjoy cooking? See #5

9) Random question -- You have the opportunity to perform in the circus! Would you rather be shot from a cannon, or put your head in the lion's mouth? I'd prefer to be ringmaster. But since that isn't one of my choices, I think I'll trust the lion.

This was a surprise

A happy and sad surprise. I slipped out at lunchtime on Friday, eating a little Chinese and heading for the bank. As I waited at the light on Michigan and Randolph, I saw a familiar face. Caleb! Napoleon's "dad." In almost exactly the same spot where I met him 18 months ago. Only today he was rolling toward me in a wheelchair, being pushed by a friend of his.

Last month I learned that Napoleon and his family were no longer on the street, and I was sure I'd never see them again. And here Caleb was ... in a wheelchair!

He is still driving a forklift, but he was promoted to days instead of the night shift. He and his wife and, of course, Napoleon, live and sleep indoors every night. His boss at the grocery warehouse has "rented" them the attic space above his garage. They're staying there for free now, in exchange for the work Caleb is doing to make it livable.

So Randi, a cancer patient, is warm and dry every night. That's good news! And Friday was her birthday, so Caleb and his friend had gone out to buy her a card.

But what about the wheelchair? He had a fall at work and tore a ligament. It was beginning to heal when he slipped on the ice and set back his recovery. So the doctor recommended a wheelchair when he's outside. Caleb hopes to be back at work "soon."

I told him I was sorry I hadn't gotten to say "goodbye" and his response surprised me. "Oh, you'll see us again." When the weather gets better, he fully expects to augment their income by panhandling, as time allows. His attitude is borne of having lived on the streets for years. Many of their friends are still homeless. He seems to see no stigma. I gave him $6 (for Randi's birthday).

And then we talked about the essentials. The two passions we share:

1) Napoleon is "a monster." He now weighs in at 14 lbs.! (The average house cat is 8 lbs.)
2) I'm reading Y Is for Yesterday. Caleb asked if it's "sad," since Grafton died before she could write "Z." I love that he knew that.