Latest Billy Glover email - Old age and health
My main concern is mobility. I can get around now, but walk badly, no strength in legs, etc. My hope is that when the time comes I can go for a while with a walker. And if I can no longer drive a car, that would be a problem. BUT, unlike you, so far, at almost 82, I do not hurt. As you seem to gather, medicine is hard to understand-I take mild/minor pills for high blood pressure and cholesterol (thank goodness for spellcheck) and gout-which only flairs up a few times a year. I assume the medicine is working, but who knows, and the point is that too much will hurt our liver/kidneys, and too little will make us unhealthy. If I sit too long then it is hard to get up, but doesn't hurt. So you are having more trouble than I, even though, as I say, I never planned to live this long and didn't try to eat healthy, etc or plan ahead. (Don Slater did try to get me to eat a balanced meal a few times, and he and Tony cooked sometimes, and Melvin tried.)
It is interesting to think that the richest people in days of old could not have the simple pills (Allopurinol, etc) to control the gout, and I doubt they knew it was too much red meat, etc, that caused it. So I am thankful to be living today AND to have-no thanks to Jindal-a good (former LSU) clinic/hospital, still staffed by LSU Medical school, and have Medicare/Medicaid to cover all expenses, and live in a cheap house, almost no taxes, so the basic I can manage. And I do have a friend or two that are younger that will do some basic stuff if needed-ironically neither is gay.
Don Slater said long ago that it seemed to him that we had to know things ourselves, especially our body and personal issues. For instance, several times an attorney said NOT to do something or how to do it and he knew better. And he had to know how his body felt. But even he, for good reasons-almost died the first operation-kept putting off an operation to replace a heart valve until it was too late and he died. But he was in bad health, so I just hope he didn't suffer. I have a letter showing that my body is donated to LSU Medical, but so did Don-and Tony, Jim, etc either didn't know it or decided not to follow it-he was cremated and buried at the Veterans cemetery in West L.A.
I have said before that I never planned my life, drifted, had a good time, had no plans at LSU,or after being kicked out of the Army(1956) etc, and just found ONE and it seemed inevitable and was able, thanks to family support, to give my time. But I did work temp jobs to get Social Secufrity and that got me medicare. (And have house and car now due to family.)
When i look back, I can't understand myself how I did some things-got on a train in Shreveport and got off at Union Station in L. A., with a little over $200 and bought the newspaper, found a BED in a boarding house, found a job the next day and never suffered a day from being homosexual. And lived long enough to see sodomy laws gone, marriage and homosexuals openly serving in the military. And met such greats as Harry Hay, John Burnside, Dorr Legg, Don Slater, Jim Kepner, Morris Kight, Hal Call, Don Lucas, Jeanne Barney, AJ, Bill Percy, Ron Tate, Paul Harris and Cain-by email in his case like Tracy Baim, Mark Segal, you-Joe and Jane Hansen, Susan Howe, Todd White, et al. (But I did not take advantage of getting to know some more, at a NACHO conference, for instance-such as Bill Kelly, Frank Kameny, Jack Nichols, et al.(The only person I lived with was Melvin Cain,, and enjoy him still and Peter Blumer today even though they are not in the best of health in PA.) Except for a short time with Hal Schmall in the early days, before he and Lou Hauser moved on to San Fransicso.) So, I have No complaints.