Opinion

Senior Life 101: An old friend becomes a new friend

 

Several years ago, my wife and I had an opportunity to meet a man that we had enjoyed watching on television back in the late sixties and early seventies. He and his wife were attending a weekend event in Olympia, and because we sat next to them at several meals, it allowed us to get acquainted.

Unfortunately, I never followed up on that contact until just a few weeks ago, when I had the privilege of re-establishing that acquaintance. The reason I share this experience is that this “new friend” is someone that I want to introduce to the people of Kitsap County.  My new friend’s name is Graham Kerr, better known as “The Galloping Gourmet," and he and his wife, Treena, will be coming to Bremerton in April to speak at the Kitsap Conference Center on the subject of “Eating Healthy and Living Longer”.   Recently I spent over an hour chatting with Graham and his wife, and was pleasantly surprised to learn of a significant and fundamental change in their approach to eating and nutrition. During our conversation I learned that one very good and sustaining reason for this change was that Treena, who at age 54, suffered a stroke followed by a heart attack several years ago. This incident not only got their attention, but brought the Kerrs to the realization that their lifestyle choices had driven them onto the rocks! And as Graham said, “I now had to be truly creative. I needed to please her, yet do her no harm.” Up to this time, the Kerrs had gained a reputation for indulgent … unhealthy eating. In fact, Graham was awarded the Broken Wooden Spoon Award with the citation from Weight Watchers International as “Global Public Enemy #1 for all those wishing to be healthy!”  But now … with this “wake-up” call, Graham knew that something had to change.  In Graham’s own words: “I used all the skills I had gathered from the life of an international gourmet with all the understanding I could find about good nutrition. I called the combination nourishment. For those who want to navigate the 'waters' of their lives by adopting some of my suggestions, I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned when I come to Bremerton in April. Frankly, we are living between a rock and a hard place, between heart disease and diabetes, both of which are adversely affected by overweight caused by unwise consumption. My 'sharing' will talk about staying in a navigable waterway with enough sea room to enjoy the journey.

"Treena's shipwreck occurred in late 1987. However, we are now still alive and gently kicking some 26 years later. It is never too late to enjoy the journey and stay off the rocks on your way to that safe snug harbor that many call 'home.'” Couldn’t have said it better myself.  If you would like to attend this wonderful opportunity to hear one of the most entertaining and provocative speakers share his perspective on this vitally important subject, you can visit the KARE website, www.kare-wa.org, and register on-line. The event is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to noon on April 4. If you register online, the cost is $15 per person ($25 at the door), and includes a continental breakfast. The event is at the Kitsap Conference Center, next-door to the Bremerton Ferry Terminal.  It would be my great delight and pleasure to have you join us for this special event so that I might introduce you to my new friend, Graham Kerr. Carl R. Johnson is community relations director for Kitsap Alliance of Resources for Elders (KARE).

 

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