It’s a bits-and-pieces column sort of day ...
Hugh Laurie is coming to North Tonawanda.
I can hear multitudes of my friends salivating audibly. I don’t know know precisely what it is about Laurie ... and, in particular, his character of Dr. House ... but I know an awful lot of people who’d go a lot further than NT to get a good look at him.
I expect some of them might be wanting to stay with me in August.
The Riviera Theatre on Webster Street will present Laurie with The Copper Bottom Band at 7:30 p.m. Aug.28. Laurie will be on vocals and piano for the performance, which is described as “a celebration of New Orleans blues.”
Tickets are $35.50 and $42.50. For more information, you can call the Riviera Theatre Box Office at 692-2413 or order tickets online at www.rivieratheatre.org.
A lot’s been said and written lately about the 87-year-old Kenmore man who, while driving the wrong way on the Grand Island section of the 190 early Monday, caused a head-on collision in which three young men from Michigan died. Another ... and the driver ... are in critical condition.
There are a lot of questions, some of which may never be answered. Why was Richard Hildebrand on the road after midnight? How did it happen that he was going the wrong way on the highway? How was he able to make it eight miles? Why did no one stop him before the crash?
And, ultimately, should an elderly man with health problems have had a valid driver’s license in the first place?
From all accounts I’ve read, Hildebrand was a good guy. Like most people would be, he’s probably heartbroken by what his actions have wrought. It’s easy to point fingers and “tsk, tsk” over what happened early Monday on Grand Island, but if it was always easy to tell when one shouldn’t drive, we wouldn’t have so many DWI charges ... and fatalities ... either.
Eventually, someone else has to get involved.
If you’re concerned about an elderly relative or friend, the New York State Office for the Aging has a document entitled “When You Are Concerned” available on its website at www.aging.ny.gov/Caregiving/OlderDriver/DriverIntroduction.cfm or by calling its helpline at (800) 342-9871. It offers an overview on when to be concerned (including warning signs), how to broach the subject, what to do and even resources on what to do for transportation after the keys are given up ... or taken away.
If you’re dealing with a friend or loved who’s not willing to make that step, there are details, too, including how to approach your local DMV office to file a request for a re-examination of the driver (note: you need details and must sign the letter) or how to approach local police authorities.
There are also guides available on the website for older drivers themselves and their caregivers.
In the midst of all the castigation and blame, remember that this is nothing but a tragedy ... for everyone involved.
Including Richard Hildebrand.
Health care reform: No matter how you feel about it, it’s a complicated subject with many different points of view. I know where I stand; beyond that, I don’t think that any of my arguments will convince those dedicated to feeling the exact oppositehe other way. So we’ll just let that lie.
That said, I can’t help but be amused by all the folks so irate about so-called “Obamacare” (and the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on it) that they’ve announced that they want to move Canada.
A country with a national, publicly funded healthcare system. Just like most other developed nations.
It’d make me laugh if I didn’t want to cry.
Jill Keppeler is a writer for the Tonawanda News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.