What is an Old Geezer?

April 13, 2024 at 5:56 p.m.
Louise with her beloved great grandson, Zarni
Louise with her beloved great grandson, Zarni

...by Louise R. Smith

All toddlers are most precious. Aren't they? Ask any great grandmother, me included, and you will receive an affirmative answer.

My great grandson, Zarni, is no exception. He knows his ABCs, speaks in sentences and has an insatiable appetite for new words. He's also a whiner, only sometimes of course, and was spending his bedtime exasperating his mother with his whines.

"Oh, don't be such an Old Geezer!" she blurted out.

"What is an Old Geezer?" he immediately asked.

She thought a minute and then spit out, "Old Geezers live with MeMeG," (which is Burmese for grandmother).

My Zarni has a Burmese father and loves to visit me at my new home, Seaport Landing in Port Townsend. This is an assisted and independent living facility inhabited by the elderly.

I have been here for three months and Zarni loves to feed the ducks in the pond and delights in pushing me in my wheelchair up and down the halls. He also loves to run into the dining room when it is filled with residents.

During a recent visit, Zarni darted into the dining room and shouted, "Hi Old Geezers, Hi Old Geezers!"

He continued until his mother grabbed him and whisked him off, with a prayer that none of the diners could understand his baby talk.

His mother then took him aside, spoke to him, and prepared him for re-entry into the room.

Zarni dashed into the dining room, this time saying, "Nice to see you! Nice to see you!"

He punctuated these kind words with a solo on the piano. His pounding on the keyboard would not qualify him as a pianist, although he happily exited the diners, followed by their loud applause.

This 95-year-old Geezer and her dining mates look forward, with bated breath, to Zarni's next visit.

Louise Smith was a retired newspaper editor and frequent contributor to Northwest Prime Time. I was utterly charmed by Louise when I met her years ago. I remember thinking to myself that I hoped to become more like her as I grew older. She passed away at 95 & one-half in 2009. To learn more about Louise, read a funny, heartfelt tribute by another frequent Northwest Prime Time contributor, former associate editor Suzanne Beyer. Here is the link – I recommend you give it a go. Reading it brought a tear and a hearty chuckle: 
I wonder how old little Zarni is today?
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