Monday Niters Struggle With Staying Awake, But Welcome Support From Foster Grandparents

Y’all remember the 2007 movie, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, called the” Bucket List”? But now, there’s an official day, April 24, designated as just tha…t “Bucket List Day” in America. Well, last year this time, the Monday Niters unknowingly decided to share with others, the one thing that they would like to do, before dying off. (Remember that several of us are now full-fledged octogenarians). I wish I could tell you that our Monday Niters gave a progress report on their individual “bucket lists”. Not so. That’s because we chose to talk about other important topics, as well….on our weekly zoom/conference call. With no regrets, we elected to report on these other topics, and zeroed in on this one bucket list item, the one offered up by Dr. Charles Allen. Let’s zero-in on that one bucket list goal, right away.

Well, first off, the community Alzheimer’s Community Education Project was first on our list, mainly because this ongoing Alzheimer’s education project is atop Dr. Allen’s bucket list. So, Kimberly Hubbard Hurd visited our weekly zoom to report that the Foster Grandparents would fully support the Alzheimer’s project. Foster Grandparents is an impactful organization that involves many senior citizens, who are trained to tutor our children. Now, get that. Every day, there are some willing senior citizens, still trying to help our kids learn. Though recently-married, Kim told us that she would pledge to get twenty of these senior citizens to join our community education, zoom call on June 26. As everybody knows by now, the Monday Niters are joining hands with the Alzheimer’s Association….and asking “our” community….what does our community need…to assist “our” Alzheimer-affected families. Again, this idea was the ‘bucket list goal” of Dr. Charles Allen, a retired Dentist, here in Kansas City. I have to emphasize here that when we all decided to each choose a “bucket list” item, we didn’t even know there was a national day set-aside….for all Americans….to do what we Monday Niters had already chosen to do. For once, we octogenarians were ahead. For once, in a “sleepy” sort of a way.

So, over the past few months, we’ve been talking every week…about this Alzheimer’s disease that wrecks so many of our families…mainly because they just don’t know what services are available. One starting point is to make sure everybody in our community knows the difference between Dementia and Alzheimer’s. So Kim, came on our zoom call and pledged to help us octogenarians, pull this community education event off. Along the way, there will be a youth-only event, several radio announcements and CALL newspaper articles about Alzheimer’s, and a couple of inter-generational events, featuring both young and old people . More on that, later. Really, I sat in amazement, listening to Kim, talk so favorably about this Foster Grandparents organization and how they have chosen to support, us eighty-year-olds, as we seek to inform “our” community….about the many Alzheimer-related services that are available to help fight through the awful situation, when facing Alzheimer’s. As Kim continued using her excellent public speaking skills, each

Monday Niter welcomed Kim because she is the daughter of Ollie Hubbard, a charter member of the Monday Nite Footballers. Ollie is now homebound, with a long-term illness.

Obviously, Kim and Jazel Nunnelly, kept us awake because I noticed how “quiet” things got, when Kim and Jazel pledged to fully support this community-wide effort and at the same time, support Dr. Allen’s vision. However, I noticed a certain “quietness” that came over the zoom call. I’m sure the older Monday Niters were reflecting about how they tried to “recall” when Kim and Jazel were growing up but, trying desperately to stay awake. At 80ish, we all know that too much listening makes our eyelids droop!

With that, we changed subjects and went on to talk about the Chiefs and their Draft Day outcomes. The always-helpful Dr. John Martin commented that General Manager Brett Veach, had appropriately used their DRAFT DAY… .”to deepen and strengthen” the already-sound Chiefs. That made sense to us all, mainly because the Chiefs’ Western Division opponents used their Draft Day choices….to select topnotch, defensive players that can help them, stop Patrick Mahomes and the Red Kingdom offense. . So, there was no big discussion when, the discussion switched to how the Chiefs plan to stay on top and repeat another trip to the Super Bowl. So, all the Chiefs’ opponents, especially the Las Vegas Raiders, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Denver Broncos are all gearing up, to just beat the Chiefs, just once. Inside our sleep-infested heads, that these teams have just one thing on their bucket lists…. “to beat the Chiefs”. Sleepy or not, we, Monday Niters knew that. What else is new?

Well, the Chiefs did surprisingly select a Lee’s Summit lad, as their first choice in the DRAFT and that, of course, provided us a chance to wake up and play like we had not been sleeping. Yawning, I wondered if “that” was on the Chiefs’ bucket list… to select a home-town lad, in the first go-round. Nawww. Or was it because he played his college football at Kansas State, here in the KC area? Fully alert now, our Monday Niters felt that home-boy Felix AnudikeUzomah

represents the growing number of NFL prospects that have world-wide appeal. Face it, the NFL is becoming “international” and the ever-alert Ed West pointed out… that this was also happening in basketball, as well. Bottom line, the Monday Niters gave Brett Veach and the Chiefs a good mark….on their DRAFT DAY selections. But, I wondered if Felix was on their “bucket list”. And if so, for the right reasons? Hmmm! Let’s continue onto one more practical conversation, before one of us starts snoring, right on this zoom call.

Admittedly, this rather-brisk conversation about the Draft completely woke us all up. Thank God it did because we might just need a “bucket list goal” to help us from nodding, especially around six o’clock starting time.

And all that led “that” Harry Sypert to talk about the final part of our night’s discussion, about the growing controversy of every team’s upping the salaries of their quarterbacks, to match the 2.6 million per game, that number 15, Pat Mahomes receives. The Baltimore Ravens did it for Lamar Jackson. And the Philadelphia Eagles boldly increased the paycheck of Jalen Hurts. In short, there is definitely a salary war, going on among NFL teams that says…”we pay our quarterbacks more than any other team does”. But both Sypert and Dr. Martin pointed out, Pat Mahomes is still the highest paid quarterback….mainly because his money is paid over a ten year period. Both Baltimore and Philadelphia will pay their quarterbacks over a shorter, five-year period, still making Mahomes the highest paid quarterback. Now, this subject kinda put us back to sleeping. Will increasing the pay of quarterbacks become a “bucket-list goal” for each NFL team? Maybe….but for right now, our Monday Niters are trying to make sure Dr. Allen’s bucket list goal gets off the ground, before our joint bucket-list will be “to learn how to stay awake, during meetings. I guess we will have to wait until April 24, 2024…..if we can stay awake.





Kansas City CALL Newspaper Inc