Alice’s Restaurant by H.R. Moody

Human Values in Aging Newsletter (March 1, 2014) is always worth a read. I met Harry Rick  Moody in NH about two years ago and have followed him ever since. If you would like to sign up, it is offered at no cost  and Harry’s email is listed at the bottom of this post.

The Gerontological Society of America


Human Values in Aging Newsletter
Mar. 1, 2014

H.R. Moody, Editor



Last week was my 69th birthday, and, as a treat, my wife and I attended an Arlo Guthrie
concert. It turns out that Guthrie, son of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, is two years
younger than me and we share many memories. He sang at the Woodstock concert and that
evening he acknowledged that he’d grown older along with his audience. Thus, he helped us
with the easily-forgotten words as the audience sang along with songs like “This Lang
Is Your Land,” which Arlo Guthrie dedicated to the recently departed Pete Seeger, with whom
he had performed so many times. Naturally, the concert concluded with “Alice’s Restaurant,”
(almost early five decades old!) with its promised refrain: “You can get anything you want, at
Alice’s restaurant.”

Singing that night reminded me of the time a year or so ago when my wife and I spent a whole evening together, neither of us being able to remember the word for “guacamole:” “Could you pass me that green stuff, dear?” I told that story later when I was speaking to a senior group and discovered that, once again, I couldn’t remember that word. A kindly lady in the front road reminded me: “guacamole.“ I’m not panicked about cognitive impairment.

As Hugh Downs once said to me: “If you forget your keys , that’s not a problem. If you forget what keys are for, make an appointment with the doctor right away.” It helps to put things in perspective. But I still think
of my 85-year old gerontologist colleague who refers to himself as a “resident of Jurrasic Park.”

Maybe at Alice’s Restaurant, you can get anything you want. But I can’t get rid of that
arthritis pain in my left shoulder, no matter how much I want to. I’m beginning to understand that I’m a new resident of the land of Jurrasic Park: “This land was made for you and me.” Thanks for the memories, Arlo.

H. R. Moody

This electronic newsletter, edited by Harry (Rick) Moody,
is sponsored by the Creative Longevity and Wisdom Program of
Fielding Graduate University and is distributed by the Humanities and Arts Committee of The Gerontological Society of America.
The Newsletter contains items of interest about humanistic gerontology;
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2 thoughts on “Alice’s Restaurant by H.R. Moody

  1. Carole Webber March 2, 2014 / 5:03 pm

    It used to be our custom on Thanksgiving day to listen to a radio station in the Northhampton area of MA, at noon, and listen to the 45 minute rendition of Alice’s Restaurant. Fond memories of Woody and Arlo who carries on ..

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