Senior Lifestyles

Sharing the spotlight

I’ve invited a guest to entertain you today. He’s Wendell Lehr of Los Altos Hills, who wrote a 40th birthday poem for Ken Nix, who lives in Palo Alto. That was a while ago, with both men now over 90.

To accompany his verse, Wendell brought a bag of about 40 marbles to the party. When I first read the poem, I knew it had to be shared with my fellow seniors. Wendell, you’re on!

On Losing One’s Marbles

By Wendell Lehr

If a man is so hearty, though

battered and sere,

As to live past the spring of his

fortieth year,

An immediate change is

apparent to all,

As he starts facing life with his

back to the wall.

The sad truth is, as everyone


The marble supply is the first

thing that goes.

The glands are intact until

ninety or more,

While the kidneys are good ’til


The legs, barring fractures,

contusions and gout,

Are serviceable up to the

game’s final out.

The eyes with correction will

endlessly toil,

While the elbows require but

occasional oil.

The heart, lungs, and liver are

no problem to most,

And the spleen is reluctant to

give up the ghost;

But the marbles are fickle,

perverse and ingrate,

As they silently, callously, give

you the gait.

Until recently this was a

process traumatic,

Which signaled decline most

severe and emphatic –

A decline that was greeted with

disbelief ever,

Deplored or ignored but

reversible never.

But now through the blending

of space age advances,

With magical potions and

primitive dances,

Polymer chemistry and efforts


Man has produced the first

marble synthetic.

So now when the first signs of

M.D.* appear,

You know you have practically

nothing to fear.

Avail yourself quickly of what

is in store

In the little pink package –

there are forty or more.

* Marble Dysfunction

Bob Simon is a Los Altos resident. Email him at robertw.

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