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Latino Life

Al Martinez

Biography:

Al Martinez, Pultizer Prize-winning journalist, author and recently
annointed "Bard of L.A.," brings humor, wisdom and a sometimes quirky perspective on life to the AARP blog. The former Los Angeles Times columnist riffs about aging, current events, who he is, who we are and everything else.

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Al Martinez'sPosts

Lose a Leg, or More, to a Love of Salt and Sugar

Posted on 07/23/2014 by |Latino Life | Comments

Personal Health | Your LifeI apparently have had diabetes for many years but haven’t paid much attention to it other than maybe not eating the third slice of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and using less than a cup of salt on my french fries. Today, I know better. Now if Señor Salt rides into our dining room like a South American gaucho, I am to ride my own horse the hell out of there. If Mademoiselle Sugar, the enticing French beauty, were to step …

How a Toy Puppy Brightens a Fading Past

Posted on 07/15/2014 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeI began hearing the dog’s squeaky bark after a few days of being transferred from West Hills Hospital to the nearby Topanga Terrace complex for physical therapy. I was to undergo a healing program after a bout with pneumonia and other potentially fatal problems. It was a faint yap that emerged out of the dim shadows down the hall at about 2 in the otherwise muted sounds of a quiet morning.  The slightest noise awakens me, especially unexpected disturbances, and …

How It Feels to Walk Again After 4 Months

Posted on 07/2/2014 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeI took the first step of my new life today. It was only kind of a baby shuffle, but, by God, to me it was the dawn of a new morning. It had freedom written all over it. I was at last feeling able to dump the walker that had helped me amble around the house and I was ready to walk, really walk, as any reasonably mature Homo sapiens should. That first step was accomplished just a few mornings …

An Old Dog Scratching at the Door

Posted on 05/12/2014 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeI feel like an old dog who has been wandering aimlessly through the streets of Los Angeles, and finally, worn and hungry, has decided to come home again, scratching at the door to get in. Well, I may be that weary old hound in some ways, but it has not been a joyful, or even relaxing, drift down the avenues and up the alleys. For almost three months I have been hospitalized with pneumonia, internal bleeding, a severe diabetic attack, …

A New America: Who Says We Can’t Do It?

Posted on 03/21/2014 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeWho says we can’t make it? Who says that this nation of muscle and dreams, of imagination and strength, can’t last through the next millennium? Who says differences will tear us apart and pettiness will drive holes in our moral structures? Who says that different peoples with different voices will crack the melting pot we have created when their voices rise as individuals in a mass culture? Who says that men who love men and women who love women will …

Walking and Working with the Extenders

Posted on 01/29/2014 by |Latino Life | Comments

Your LifeThe first time I ever heard the term “extenders” applied to human effort and not necessarily to equipment utilized by the handicapped was in the office of a doctor who actually had disabilities. He redefined the word to mean that you never give up. Burdened by the ever-increasing impact of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) on my body, I had requested a wheelchair from Medicare and was told to make an appointment in Los Angeles with one Dr. Thomas Hedge, …