Baby Boomer And The Brain, part 3

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February 5, 2011 by David Gillaspie

Alzheimer’s On Track For Defining Disease Status?

We grew up watching Roy Rogers and The Lone Ranger on black and white televisions.  No one had color in the neighborhood.

The Land of Oz didn’t have the same pop when Dorothy landed on the Wicked Witch once a year before cable.  It didn’t have the same impact without color, but we didn’t know.

Now it all fades away with Alzheimer’s?  Color and black and white?  Boomers deserve better.

We watched Gallant Men and Combat in half hour WWII segments before Vietnam, Private Ryan, and Band of Brothers.  Kirby and his BAR always saved the day.

Who will save the day against Alzheimer’s?  Vic Morrow won’t be there.

From Star Trek to Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, boomer television covered the highs and lows.

Was it too much?  Probably.  It’s all too much.

Alzheimer’s is the same, too much and then nothing.  What are we supposed to do?

How will it feel watching re-runs of Mister Ed, the talking horse?  Or My Mother The Car?


Will we celebrate Andy Griffith turning in his lawman’s badge in Mayberry for law school and changing his name to Matlock?  We always cheer the non-traditional student success story.

Will Andy be more confusing than Perry Mason’s move from Los Angeles attorney to San Francisco detective in Ironsides?

The challenges mount with each episode.

If confusion will be the order of the day, at least Boomers have experience.  Gomer Pyle sings ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ for the Indy 500 in an operatic voice?  Rock Hudson won’t fall for Doris Day?  They’re such a perfect couple in Pillow Talk.

It’s a crazy world.

Alzheimer’s has an inside out feel, where internal destruction results in external behavior, or lack of behavior.

Phineas Gage went the other direction.  Few questioned what happened to him after they saw the steel rod and two bleeding holes in his head.

The same holds for Tony Conigliaro, the Red Socks star who took a baseball to the head from Jack Hamilton.

These guys, and others, came back from their injuries.  Not all the way back, but somewhere in the ballpark.

The next person who recovers from Alzheimer’s will be the first.

It’s a disease that throws a curve no one hits.  It acts like a change-up, but blows in like a fast ball, high and tight.  You can duck, but it’ll find you.

Who can predict what’s coming down the tracks?  Maybe a magical cure from ground turmeric?  More exercise and better diets?

The fear of Alzheimer’s comes across in every voice that speaks it’s name.  Medical experts say things like “still trying to determine the causes” and “causes not fully understood.”

The Boomer world waits for better news at the junction, Pettycoat Junction.

All aboard!  Next stop, Hooterville.


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