Roy’s Sunday Letter for May 7, 2023

  • The US Surgeon General has formed a department to address a national crisis and epidemic of Loneliness. The crisis response is not limited to isolated elderly. Teen girls especially are at risk for considering Suicide. As a society, we have learned “being connected” does not always result in inclusion and knowing where you fit. Dr. Vivek Murtny wishes to mend our social fabric.

** Beth and I now have our 6th Covid vaccination. Our pharmacist hopes next year the Covid and flu shot will be combined, making protection easier for us and pharmacist as well.

  • The Madrid Tennis Open has changed the on court look of tennis. At first there were ball boys, then later girls were added, and for 20 years ball kids. At the Madrid Open, retrieving tennis balls are young women, ages 18 – 29. Dress is black top, bare middle and miniskirt. I have been surprised by the lack of comments/protest of Madrid’s sexualizing of tennis. Goodbye kids.

** St. Andrews Episcopal in Amarillo (our home church) was vandalized Wednesday night. Broken people breaking sacred peace and damaging the interior. The concern on a Friday zoom, was to monitor if this was isolated or an attack on Episcopal churches. Either way a sad reality.

  • Frank Lloyd Wright completed 1/3 of his architectural projects between the ages of 80 and 92. As an elder writer, beginning late in life, this is encouraging.

** Our TX Gov. Gregg Abbott recently called 5 family members murdered in Cleveland, TX, “illegal immigrants.” When any of us, including Gov. Abbott, labels this family, any family, there is a distancing, a dehumanizing resulting in not caring what happens to them, or us. Words convey valuing, meaning, or as with Gov. Abbott, a lack of human compassion and empathy. In 1948, 32 mostly Mexican farm workers died in a plane crash in Los Gatos Canyon, CA. News reports said the farm worker were “just deportees.” Woody Guthrie wrote the song “Deportees.” Joan Baez and others sang of these “just deportees.” Friend Gregg, you might to have Woody and Joan a listen on U tube.

  • An elder New Mexico friend, living alone, said in a recent conversation, he is beginning to worder about his future care. The who, how, when of what happens to us is a reality. We have numerous elder women and men who have lived past their immediate family…with adult kids spread far and wide with their own work and families. So, being connected and active in support of others is what community is all about.

Roy, neighbors all, near or far


  1. FRANK JOHNSON on May 7, 2023 at 9:27 am

    Beautifully written friend Roy! The obsession that some have to separate themselves from the greater body of humanity is so disappointing. They, just, only, are words we should hear a lot less in our conversations if we truly want to communicate. Cheryl and I jumped up to go get our 6th covid shots when we were notified of its availability. But, we decided that we should probably talk to Cheryl’s doctor while she is still in chemo. Will certainly be in line for those shots by the end of June if not sooner.
    Thanks for your words, and prayers for a week that includes some “mending”.

    • Roy Bowen on May 9, 2023 at 10:40 am

      Here is what I know to be True
      We, none of us, do what we do, follow our path by ourselves…isolated, alone
      That is not how life is best lived out in the fullest.
      Cards are for encouragement….whether times of treatment and worry, or times of health and free of worry.
      You two important to us….no reason needed… just are.

  2. Frank Long on May 7, 2023 at 11:12 am

    I applaud your ability, Roy, to summarize the events of the world in caring and sincere language. The loneliness of our world knows no age boundaries. Young and old both share that angst of being separated. It’s almost as if the horrible things of life, desecrations of churches, shootings at shopping malls have become the only times we reach to one another as humans supporting one another. Thank you. Very poignant reading today.
    Frank Long

    • Roy Bowen on May 9, 2023 at 10:37 am

      I attempt to not care if anyone reads my SL or not (but I do).
      Your consistent Comments encourage to continue on, in my weird but determined way.
      I will be on campus for the Dr. Wonders sculpture reveal, June 7.
      Hope to see you there…..and perhaps lunch together also.

  3. Paul Warren on May 8, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Garage door openers and no sidewalks isolate us from our neighbors. We need to greet each other and know our neighbors. Thank you, Roy for introducing me to the Deportees song. Even more relevant than when Woody wrote it.

    • Roy Bowen on May 9, 2023 at 10:33 am

      IOf we could pump Deportees in to the Gov’s offices that would be both well deserved and needed.
      Yes, violence, arrogance are all arouond
      But, we stand up, resist, sang out, hold hands, sang some more, and continue on.
      I welcomed two new move-ins on our block this week…both rental.
      Also, our note cards to two women being treated cancer, plus one home name from hospital infection stay.
      “Staying supportive” an essential part of our life in the swirl of others. The only way.
      See and hear you Sunday noon……

  4. Linda M on May 8, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    Dear Roy and Beth,

    I’m deeply sorry to hear about your church being vandalized. One wonders what is sacred within us any more. And what can we do about the utter dehumanization of our species. Big sigh.

    Much Love,
    Linda M

    • Roy Bowen on May 9, 2023 at 10:26 am

      Broken people breaking the sacred and peace as well. The faith in Amarillo and St Andrews will restore and continue. The darkness will not overcome the Light….

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