POINT RICHMOND, Calif. - The recent passing of Bill Taylor and my impending 70th birthday in July have been a one-two punch to the belly in thinking about mortality. And punches to the belly - where a month ago I had two hernia repairs done - are very, very unwelcome, thank you very much. Anyone else notice that all that I seem to be able to post on this Class of '66 website are details about which classmate has just passed away? Jaysus!
This past winter I caught a cold (and probably pneumonia) that almost did me in. Same thing happened two years ago. But my emergency room doctor, (Doogie Howser's older brother) used an expression that my wife Sylvia is soooooo sick of hearing me repeat. It does get a good laugh from my kids and friends when I throw it out there. I was in the ER getting the once over with symptoms of flu - high fever, some nausea, aches, pains. After nearly buying the farm two years ago with a bout of pneumonia, I don't take any chances with respiratory stuff. After being poked and prodded, the doctor shoved a long cotton-swab tipped instrument into my sinus cavity that went so far up I thought he was trying to take a brain cell sample. (Hold the brain sample jokes for the moment.) At that point, I thought he had to be done. But after retracting the probe, he pushed and prodded some more and then ordered an EKG. Say what? EKG? I bristled slightly, given that he could see on his computer I had had full heart workup done just a few months before when I had landed in a different ER with chest pains. (Acid-reflux can be a real bitch, friends.) I passed all the heart tests with flying colors. But in a move no doubt taught at medical schools, he put his hand on my arm and very paternally explained he really had to do the EKG. "After all," he said, "well, you know, a man of your age?" A man of my age. Doesn't that about about sum it up! So stay healthy classmate amigos - as healthy as you can. And anytime to you need a get-out-of-jail-free card to avoid something? Just say, "You know, a man (or woman) of my age..." Did I say stay healthy? I did. Well, one more reminder can't hurt.
WATERVLIET - Class of '66 Classmate Bill Taylor passed away in April, apparently of a heart attack. Bill was 69. According to his younger brother Pete, no services are planned and as per Bill's wishes he was cremated. Bill was not doing well - health-wise - and was living alone at the time of his death. That's all the details we have at the moment.
Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.