News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Hennes Paynter Communications

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Commentary


Harvey Pekar: Getting Old

by WKSU's HARVEY PEKAR


Commentator
Harvey Pekar
 
WKSU commentator Harvey Pekar is feeling his age. But as much as he worries how aging will affect his quality of life, he's more concerned about his favorite cousin.
Click to Listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:32)


I was looking at some videotape shot of me at the Cannes Film Festival last May and, I'll tell you, I'm not only getting old, but looking like I'm getting old. There are all these turkey wrinkles in my neck and I'm practically bald. I fall down a lot more often than I used to also.

On top of that my memory fails me sometimes these days. I'm not too happy about the fact that I've got nowhere to go but downhill physically, but there's nothing to do but accept it and try to take care of myself so I don't slip too fast. But I've got this cousin who's in worse shape than me that way. She's almost eighty now, and she's got some kind of dementia.

When I came back from California recently I had eighteen messages on my telephone answering machine. Close to half of them were from her, asking me to give her a call because she felt lonely and isolated. Each call indicated she wasn?t sure whether she made similar previous calls to me. She'd say things like, "I can't remember whether I put a message like this on your machine or not."

When I did get home I called her right away and she was confused. She'd keep on asking me where she could see American Splendor, and I would tell her when it opened in Cleveland and she would go to mark the date on her calendar only to find she'd marked it previously. She keeps on repeating things over and over, not remembering that she'd said them before.

She was born in Poland and came to the U.S. when she was thirteen. Before she got married she lived with her parents, brother, and sister in the upstairs flat of a two-flat house, right above my family. She and her sister use to take care of me when I was a kid. They treated me real well, even to the point of spoiling me.

She sometimes expressed a lot of nostalgia for Poland, which kind of surprised me because we were Jewish and Jews didn't get treated very well over there. I remember her showing me an autobiography she'd written in junior high school. It was really beautiful and she let me use it years later as the basis of a comic book story I wrote about her. She didn't know why I was making such a big deal about it. I guess she never realized what a sensitive author she was.

I've known her all my life and she's been close to me. I used to go over to her house sometimes to discuss my problems. She always had me over on Passover.

When I spoke to her on the phone, she said that she wants me to call her because talking to me makes her feel good. Believe me, it feels good that I can make at least one person a bit happier. So, I'm thinking that I'll call her every day from now on and hope it makes her feel a little better.


Related Links & Resources
Harvey Pekar's web site

American Splendor movie web site

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio lawmakers propose grants for home construction for disabled people
We have been trying to have a "Visitability Bill" passed for years. Thanks, Greg

Lake County crimes may give Trump immigration fodder
Shoddy reporting at best. "Mixed views" The question that came to my mind was, "How many people did he have to interview to get "mixed views". Do the two peo...

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Cleveland hosts the first national Movement for Black Lives conference
What a wonderful experience this was, So much love and understanding, without all of the other distractions that tend to come with organizing for change, this e...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University