On This Veterans Day, “Say, ‘Hello In There'”   Leave a comment

David Fitzsimmons — Arizona Daily Star
 
You know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder every day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello”
 
So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes
Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare
As if you didn’t care, say, “Hello in there, hello”
 
— from Hello In There by John Prine
 

As a Veteran and an old person in general, I’m trying hard not just to fade away — “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
Like many people my age, we are familiar with the line in General Douglas MacArthur April 19, 1951 farewell address to
the U.S. Congress. A great line for a General but not for older people. I, for one, am not ready to just fade away.

As older people, we experience daily the looks of people we may come in contact with, and in their eyes, 
we have already faded away — they stare straight through us. In the last decade, I have seen more doctors 
than in the total of my eighty years, and just once, I would like, “Hello in there, hello.”

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