A Volunteer’s Story

A Volunteer’s Story

In Kaiser waiting room. A man about my age comes over and offers me a bottle of water. He’s a Kaiser volunteer. I recognized him from two months ago when I got lost in another building looking for Xray. He walked with me across the parking lot.

Very helpful.

I said I remembered him from before. I thanked him.

V. Glad I was helpful

R. How long have you been a volunteer?

V. Eight years. I work three or four days a week. Very convenient. I live just next door in that apartment complex.

R. Why do you keep doing it? What keeps you coming back?

V. Every day I learn something new.

R. What did you do before retirement?

V. Taught ESL classes.

R. Interesting. Where?

V. Junior college for years, then overseas.

R. Where?

V. Central America, China, Middle east. Eight years in Saudi Arabia.

R. What nationality is the most fun?

V. Spanish speakers. Always lots of laughter.

R. Thank you for what you do. You make a difference.

V. Thank you. Want another bottle of water?

BTW, don’t miss “Daddio” now playing in theaters. It is about talking deeply to strangers.

Sean Penn and Dakota Johnson.

Appreciations and Rants

Miles Davis

“We play what the day recommends.”

In 1991, Miles hears earlier work being played (from “The Man in the Green Shirt: Miles Davis,” by Richard Williams.)

This image moves me deeply. The baddest, coolest motherfucker of mid-20th century at the end of his life.

Climate Disaster

Lots of talk about dealing with flooding, heat, and hurricanes. No political will to reduce use of fossil fuels. The red states that hate science and claim global warming is “fake news” are getting hit hardest. Carl Sagan’s revenge?

Abortion – the Real Reasons

  • Hatred of women. Keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen and in the bedroom.
  • Labor Supply. Pro-life = more, poor, uneducated people for the elites’ armies and fast food restaurants. (Think Civil War – northern, east coast elites taking away free labor from cotton industry. Before the Civil War, Mississippi was the richest state in the union.)

Note to the media: Stop saying:

  • “Existential” in every other paragraph
  • “Well,” before every answer
  • “Right?” when giving your answer.
  • “Wherever you get your podcasts.”
  • “Down ballot.”

TV Commercials – WTF?

I’m no prude, but commercials have gotten over the top…

  • Bowel movement medication
  • “Smell good” powder for under arms, crotch, butt, etc.
  • Get-it-on meds anywhere, anytime ads – even for older couples
  • The Devil came calling on Monday and took me on a tour of hell. Kars 4 Kids commercial plays nonstop through giant speakers for eternity. The Devil confided that these children are not humans, they are robots. No humans could be that bad.

Advice for Newscasters

  • OK for men to have white hair… never for women. Women have fake blond hair with an inch of dark roots. Seriously? Also, for women to have hair longer than shoulder length and wearing sleeveless outfits says: “Your place or mine?” It does not say serious journalism.
  • CNN – Why do you insist on newscasters wandering around the set with a folded piece of paper they never look at? Then when their three-minute piece is over, they stroll urgently off camera. Where too? The bathroom? (Hope they turn off their mic.)

Joe Biden

From the media:
“If the Lord Almighty came down and said, ‘Joe, get out of the race,’ I’d get out of the race,” Biden, who is the nation’s second Catholic president, said. “The Lord Almighty is not coming down.”

“Breaking News,” Joe – The reason he is not coming down is that he doesn’t exist. He is just pretend. He lives only in your imagination.

When will we ever elect an atheist president (and Congress and Supreme Court – ha, ha, ha) and finally get REASON rather than magical thinking running the government?

Yet another story…

Last Saturday morning, Pete Carey and I were having breakfast at Stacks in Menlo Park. Friendly waitress came over, I commented, “You have a welcoming smile.”

I had shown Pete my new “business card” with my “flying Rick” photo. On the back is the information about how to get the videos from my recent 85th birthday celebration.

She saw it on the table and went nuts about it. I gave her one. At the end of our breakfast, she brought this birthday cupcake with two spoons. She wished me a happy birthday. How sweet.

New Photos

Kaiser Clinic

Waiting Room


Home of Diego Rivera, Mexico

Avalon Ballroom, Catalina Island


Best Birthday Card Ever – from Heidi Hamilton

4 thoughts on “A Volunteer’s Story

  1. David Binder says:

    All good stuff, Rick. Heidi told me about the card before she sent it. I always tell our participants that “perfect” doesn’t exist, but in this case, it most certainly does!

  2. Keri Lehmann says:

    Your random rants crack me up. And I love the story and photo of you and the Stacks waitress! I don’t blame her for going nuts over your flying Rick photo. Love you SO!

  3. Michael Joyce says:

    I always thought you were a lot of fun as a little kid. I’m happy to say I think it’s true today too.

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