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home : opinion : editorials May 24, 2016

11/3/2013 6:00:00 AM
Editorial: The bell tolled for me

Rich Thurlow

OK, it's a few days late to throw out something that might qualify as being in the Halloween spirit. It's not scary in any way, but it might be a little bit spooky.

I'll set the stage: My Grandma Jackie was sick. Although we didn't live in a big house, Grandma was isolated in her downstairs bedroom. She had a little bell to ring when she needed something. It was loud enough so the sound would travel from her room around two corners and the pass-through kitchen to the den, where the rest of the family generally hung out.

I remember hearing the bell on occasion and I suppose there were a few times when I helped in some small way.

As it turned out, Grandma died a few days before the president was assassinated in Dallas.

A few months later I was in the den, practicing for adulthood by sprawling on the couch watching the TV. Mom was at the table by the kitchen, either reading or sewing.

And both of us heard the bell ring. I remember we looked up at each other at the same time. And I knew we were the only people in the house.

"Did you hear that?" Mom asked. I nodded.

Later - well before dark - I went to Grandma's former room. I mentioned the house wasn't particularly large, but it was built in a way that encouraged only about 60 percent of it to be used. After the kitchen, I made my way through one big room to the small hall that had two doors - one to a bathroom, the other to Grandma's room. I nudged the bedroom door open and saw nothing had changed. The bell was at its usual spot on the table, which was located between the bed and the closet.

I don't know what I was expecting to see, but I was kind of relieved to see the bell right where it was supposed to be.

As for that scratching noise coming from the closet - well, that's another story.


The football players on the Lee Williams High roster are the luckiest in town, though they may not realize it.

David Ward, the football coach at Kingman High, summed it up in Friday's Miner when discussing the Bulldogs' game at Mohave High, the last of the year for KHS while LWHS and Kingman Academy High were wrapping up their seasons playing each other.

Some football players, Ward said, can play at the next level. Others can't. "Some will never play again, and you can't go back in time," he said of the seniors. "I always tell the kids, 'Don't play for the coach. Play for the love of the game.'"

I was too slow to have a chance to play football at the big high school I attended in Oklahoma as a sophomore, but I fit right in when the family moved to a small town in Wyoming for my junior and senior years.

And unlike basketball and baseball, where you can get some guys together and play some version of the sport, the opportunity to struggle into those football pants and throw on the shoulder pads just one more time doesn't happen for most of us after high school. It almost seems unfair.

Forty-some odd years later, I still dream about playing football.

That's why everyone on the LWHS roster is lucky. The oldest players at the new school are sophomores. They have two years to go, two more years to put on the pads and knock heads, to fly around and hit someone and be hit.

Boys, don't waste that opportunity. And this message is for players at all three high schools in Kingman.

You can't go back in time. Take it from the coach - and from a guy who wishes he could do it again.


"So, how do you feel about the Affordable Care Act?"

I've been asking doctors that question for a while now, hit or miss, and lately it's a question I always ask at some point during a doctor visit. The results are far from scientific, but my bride and I do talk as patients to a lot more doctors now than we did years ago. That's what happens when you get old.

So far I've only gotten one positive response, this from a specialist months before the Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law. At the time he told me the law might not necessarily be good for me, but it would be good for most people. By "me," I think he was referring to people with insurance.

Aside from that doctor, though, the responses have all been negative, including a shockingly profane outburst from one of the mildest-mannered doctors I've dealt with.

If you are a doctor and have an opinion about the Affordable Care Act - good or bad - we'd like to hear from you. We want to know how the ACA will impact your practice, your patients and your patience.

Give me a call at (928) 753-6397, ext. 222, or call reporter Kim Steele at 753-6397, ext. 229. If you prefer email, rthurlow@kdminer.com and ksteele@kdminer.com work for us. Let's talk.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

"If the money would have stayed in the S/S fund, rather than being removed by the Democrats and used for pork bellies, there would be no problems with S/S being broke."

You might want to re-think that Cowboy Roy or at least research it. Bush raided and spent a total of $1.37 trillion of Social Security surplus during his eight years as president. In his last year, he spent $192.2 billion, which averages out to more than $526 million per day. Did you get that Roy....$526 Million per day! Now what were you saying?

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Schmo

@The Root:

“Walk into KRMC with a broken arm and no insurance...you'll walk out with a cast and a bill.”

True. And what happens when that person cannot pay the bill because they have no health insurance? The hospital passes its costs onto patients who have health insurance in the form of higher premiums.

Somebody has to pay eventually. Why continue to allow free riders to be subsidized by those who have insurance? Why not require everyone who uses the health care system to have health insurance? It’s really no different than requiring everyone who owns a car to have auto insurance. You might be the safest driver in the world and never make a claim, but you still must have insurance.

Even the healthiest people will, at some point, need health care. That is what the individual mandate is all about. And just like car insurance, there needs to be minimal standards applied equally to everyone.


The money you paid for Medicare and SS while you were working went to those who were already retired. Those of us who are still working are paying for your Medicare and SS now. That’s how it works.

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Anson's Nephew,my medicare is not a government give away.”

I have never said it was. It is, however, a government supported “socialized” health care system. Perhaps we should only be allowed to take out of it as much as we put in? What do you think of that?

“Check what year S/S monies were put into the general fund and what party had control at that time.”

Ahh, perhaps you should follow your own advice re brains, gears and mouths. Monies paid into the Social Security trust have never been "put into the general fund." I strongly suggest you do some actual research before posting that nonsense again.


Of course they will, that is why they have insurance. What is your point – besides YELLING?

The problem stems from the uninsured who will receive care and when they fail to pay the rest of us pick up the tab. I have never said the uninsured will be denied health care.

“I for one, am tired of hearing the ‘no health care’ line from you.

I don’t care, it is a fact.

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013
Article comment by: biker randy

I asked my dentist about this and he said so far they are not part of the changes. He's happy for that. He did say he already has to do a lot of things just because the Govt. makes him.

Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013
Article comment by: the root

Anson, what's shocking is you thinking any American is denied health care due to no insurance.

Walk into KRMC with a broken arm and no insurance...you'll walk out With a cast and a bill.

I for one, am tired of hearing the "no health care" line from you. EVERY PERSON WILL BE TREATED IF THEY WALK INTO A HOSPITAL INJURED. True here in Kingman, LA, LV, NYC or bumblenowhere Idaho.

You still seem to forget that at the end of the day,the insurance companies are loving every aspect of the ACA..As they now have a endless supply of "customers", now federally mandated to pay them.

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Article comment by: Roy Leggett

First of all, Anson's Nephew,my medicare is not a government give away. I worked for 55 years and paid into Social Security and Medicare every pay check, plus my employer also paid too. For several years I over paid Social Security and got a refund. If the money would have stayed in the S/S fund, rather than being removed by the Democrats and used for pork bellies, there would be no problems with S/S being broke. AND...if the money would have beern placed in an interest bearing account, my S/S check would be over double what it is now. As a wise man once said" Before putting mouth in motion, put brain in gear. Check what year S/S monies were put into the general fund and what party had control at that time.

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

How kind of your family to keep your Grandmother with them rather than dump her into some facility to be cared for by strangers.

I'm sure just knowing you were sprawled out on the couch a few rooms away was comforting. Had she never called you for anything, just kowing you were there probably brought her a degree of peace.

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“… the responses have all been negative, including a shockingly profane outburst from one of the mildest-mannered doctors I've dealt with.”

What is truly shocking is how anyone can be against a program that will provide access to health care for every American. And yet no one has explained – particularly those thriving on government supported Medicare – why they are adamant about every American not having access to health care.

The stance by the doctor’s Rich “interviewed” is particularly curious in light of the fact they will benefit from the program by having more patients and being able to offer preventative care to short-circuit onerous health issues. Nothing will actually change – except their workload (time to educate more doctors wouldn’t you say?) – as insurance companies will still remain between the doctor and the patient. The only doctors who should feel threatened are the ones who have been ripping off their patients, the insurance companies and the government with fake billings and unnecessary tests.

On a personal note both of my doctors have taken a wait and see approach with my cardiologist actually looking forward to the changes being wrought by the ACA.


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