vise grip

Word Smith: Vise Grip

March 20, 2013

Hi All,

I had a long talk with Dicky today and would like to share what I learned from her. 

She and Laurie had just gotten back from visiting the Highlands housing area of the Glenridge and she was quite excited. She says the place is really nice, makes life much easier, and is on board to go over there. There is one apartment opening up in the next couple of months and it sounds like they would be in line to get it. They both are going to meet on Tuesday with the finance people to get an idea of how the money part would work. Her sense is that it wouldn’t cost any more than where they are living now. It sounds like Laurie is grudgingly going along, and doing his part to get the money situation together before Tuesday. My biggest sense from that part of the conversation was how excited Dicky was about it. She talked about some sadness in leaving their pond and cranes in the morning, but her overall perspective was that the apartment was excellent, and that it makes a lot of sense for where she and Laurie are at in their lives right now. She sounded really positive. Yeah!


If this does happen it sounds like it might call for some help from the various sons and daughters sometime in the next couple of months. I let her know that if they put out the word that bodies are needed for the moving process they have a large number of relatives that could jump and help. 


We also talked about Laurie’s driving. I brought up many of the concerns that everyone has expressed. I also mentioned that there was some conversation about talking to his doctor and potentially have him undergo testing. Dicky’s response was that he would “resent the hell out of whoever initiated that if he found out, and that he would find out.”


She feels that it is their decision when he should stop driving. I asked her if she thought that he was any worse now, than a week, month, or year ago, and she said not. She also thinks that with the potential new living situation there will be less of a need to drive. There are weekly trips to Publix, Liquor Stores etc. Her advice is to let the driving thing work itself out, but that bottom line it is their decision.


Take care,

Malcolm O


March 21, 2013

Thank you, Malcolm, for speaking with your mom and giving us this latest update.  Sounds like things with Dad & Dicky are moving in the right direction.


As a way of addressing the driving issue, I have a quick family story:


All of the Hooper boys know that Dad could multi-task: he could drive with his left hand on the steering wheel and manage discipline with his right hand, just for emergencies.  “Discipline” came in the form of his four fingers, thumb and palm which arrived with lightning reflexes from the front seat, hard and fast, and latched on to anything — knees, ankles, wrists or heads that happened to be in the vicinity.  Dad’s hands had the power of a vise grip set of pliers, and no one messed with that grip without suffering the consequences.  He could squeeze the living daylights out of you and it hurt like HELL!


Dad was always a conscientious driver.  On camping trips, when we veered into small towns for shopping, he would often warning older drivers of the danger they presented to other people on the road.  He was heard yelling out the window: “Watch what where you are going, you, FOSSIL!”  Back then, who would have foreseen the day when Dad would ossify to a similar degree?


When Dad was behind the wheel driving, and Laurie, Ned, or I were making too much ruckus in the middle seat, we could guarantee that before too long “the vise grip of emergency discipline enforcement” was headed our way. On many of those occasions, when Laurie and I spotted that hand as it menacingly came towards us, we did the natural thing: we dived out of the way, dodged it and pushed Ned, the youngest, into the grip.   Sorry, dude.


So, Ned, when you take on the challenge of helping Dad give up that driver’s license, just remember, Laurie and I pushed you into it.


vice grip 2


Your loving brother,



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