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Monday, October 26, 2020

If you think you work hard

 I found this article about working with Sid Hartman to be both amusing and inspiring.

Another time I thought Sid was dead was when I got a phone call saying he had fallen and broken his hip.

I was unaware how dire a situation that was for an elderly person — and Sid was 96 at the time — but based on the tone of the conversations, I began to think Sid would never work again. I got hold of his son, Chad, to see if I could come visit.

Sid was in a recovery room at Fairview Southdale, lying in a hospital gown with an array of machines connected to him and doctors and nurses and family coming in and out of the room. I had never seen him in a vulnerable position. I went to his bedside and asked him, as quietly and kindly as I could, how he was doing.

He rose up slightly, “You tell them not to touch my column.”

He was back to work three weeks later, writing about the Gophers hiring P.J. Fleck as the football coach.

He would publish 612 more columns.

To put that in perspective, I wrote a grand total of 535 columns for WND, enough to fill three fat hardcovers. Sid Hartman wrote more than that... after the age of 96. You're not done until you're well and truly done. 

And on a sadder note, RIP Matt Blair. I met the great Minnesota linebacker twice as a child, and I still have the cards from his photography studio he started after retiring from the Vikings.

10 comments:

  1. I am old enough to say that I had his Topps football card. RIP

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  2. Hats and helmets off. Two good men to remember.

    Wonder if the Dark Angel stayed away that long, because Sid was using him to run errands like a copy boy.

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  3. But Vox, we are entitled to become useless slugs at age 65! Reeeeee!

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  4. Matt Blair looked like Dracula swooping up and down to block punts.

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  5. My hubby was doing business the night before he passed away, and was on a conference call with China until 10 pm our time. He passed at around 2 a.m. with his laptop and calculator both open & mid function. That's how we knew the approx time he died, his proposal was only 3/4ths completed & stopped mid sentence.
    He was 74.

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  6. That right there is a model for the entitled boomers that do exactly what they blame their children of doing. That kind of grit and persistence was something characteristic of the World War II generation. Hope to see that same mentality again in future generations. RIP to both men.

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  7. My grandmother broke her hip at 96 as well. Once she was back on her feet she was asking if there was anything she could do to help around the hospital ward, or if she could volunteer to visit old people to keep them company. It had to be pointed out to her that the people she would be visiting would most likely be 20 years younger than her, and that she had just recovered from major surgery. Didn't stop her from trying.

    They don't make 'em like that any more, that's for sure.

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  8. Glad you're back to posting, ZT. I'm an embryo compared to you on this site and your persistence is admirable. God bless you.

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  9. I've no idea who he was, but wow. That's a serious work ethic. I can only hope and pray that I'm as able as that if I reach such an advanced age.
    I had the privilege of working with a man who had started life as a Barnardo's baby, run a successful business, retired and took a full time retail job in his 60's and 70's to keep active, and carried on working until two weeks before he died from stomach cancer. He gave me a lot of wisdom, most of which I shamefully didn't listen to at the time. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried at his funeral.

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  10. It's amazing what can be achieved whilst in the seventh stage. My Grandmother passed when she was eighty-eight, which is not uncommon and not of the age of century Sid, but still she lived to a ripe age and retained full lucidity and powers of memory.

    I am sure in her late eighties she was still creating poems. And still discussing the finer details of her young days.

    Sorry I have a tendency to ramble and I have rambled yet again. Have a nice week.

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