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Don’t Let The Old Man In

Toby Keith Explains How Clint Eastwood Inspired ‘Don’t Let the Old Man In’   Struck by Eastwood’s relentless energy at an age when many are content to sit and reflect, Keith asked how he keeps going.

“He said, ‘I just get up every morning and go out. And I don’t let the old man in,’ ” Keith recounts. “And I thought, I’m writing that.”

HT: Cousin Mike McNair

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  • Casey Klahn November 24, 2019, 1:32 PM

    Eastwood has gone from Spaghetti Westerns and challenging John Wayne on his own turf, to fuccking god-emperor of movie direction. No pop culture, no soft hand to the audience.

    He stands up for the (was it Montangyard? ) kid in Gran Turino, punches below the belt in Million Dollar Baby…I haven’t seen Mule yet. Now we have the movie about Jewell, and maybe this deceased good guy will get his reputation back. Also, the movie about the service members rushing the Muzz on the train in Belgium.

    Anyway, Toby Keith’s music is epic, too. Perhaps I’m on edge after Putnam County last night. Brought a tear to my eye when Eastwood looks in the mirror.

    Carry on. Keep yer powder dry.

  • Rob De Witt November 24, 2019, 2:29 PM

    Aye aye, Casey, me too.

    This last year has just kicked my ass, put me down and would not let me up. My eyes went bad to where I can’t get stable on my feet, can’t reliably read music, can’t get glasses that work right. Allergies have left me short of breath and vertigo-ridden. A month and a half ago a ten-year-old umbilical hernia repair failed, badly enough that the surgeon I finally found (all my doctors switched coverage right at the annual enrollment period and left me unsure whether I’d have coverage in January) told me it could kill me in a couple of hours if it broke, and that he’d prefer to take me into surgery within 2-3 days – but the operating rooms were all booked up for 2 weeks, so stay on your back and be real careful.

    Unlike the previous repair, when I took my driver out for breakfast afterwards and took a couple of ibuprofens later in the day to solve the minor pain, this time I came out of anesthesia majorly fucked up and needing hydrocodone for a few days to get through it. One night in the hospital (surrounded, to my deep satisfaction, by a squad of pretty young nurses) and a friend took me back to my place 20 miles north, and another friend stocked me up on water and food. Three days later the power got shut off and I got an evacuation order. The friends took me in and helped me keep the hydro to a minimum for about 6 days, and when I could bend over and tie my shoes they followed me back home. Every day I take a few more stairs and lay down and breathe some more.

    I can sing some sitting down in my car, and another attempt at glasses is only days away. When I get steady on my feet I’ll go down to San Francisco and sing for some folks and tell ’em I’m ready to go back to work.

    Thank God for Clint Eastwood, and good for Toby Keith. I’ve been old as hell for months, and I don’t like it worth a damn.

  • Casey Klahn November 24, 2019, 3:29 PM



    We love you here and it sounds like the wind is catching your sail. Steady hand.

    I’m back from 2 grueling teaching trips and feeling beat. Old age. I knew courage in my life, and it often had to do with physical fitness. And character. What little of that I have will now have to suffice to keep me brave when needed.

    I know your character. Very glad to know you.

  • rabbit tobacco November 24, 2019, 7:11 PM

    We all want to get older, not old. Therein lies the paradox.

  • ghostsniper November 25, 2019, 4:34 AM

    Getting older is ok cause you sometimes get smarter. But getting old also blows great blue whales grandfather, big time.

    At the private range yesterday I struck up a conversation with an old dood that had his right hand bandaged up. He just went through a surgery on that hand last Thur and has to take it easy. He was armed but advised to not shoot for 3 weeks. As we talked I realized his hand ailment is one that I face, potential surgery.

    Couple months ago I palmed about a 20 pound pump for a hot tub and it was a little too heavy for these 64 yo hands. It slipped out and landed on the workbench and all 4 fingers on that hand slapped the palm at light speed. Sounded like when you snap your fingers, but a lot louder. Immediately I knew something was wrong. The mechanics in a human hand are unlike other aspects of the human body. When I said mechanics I meant it. Levers, rods, bearings, slip rings, lubricants, etc. Strip the hide off and that’s what you’ll see. Like looking inside a 16th century clock. And the nerve structure. Jayziss. As it is, there is a nerve bundle in the palm, right below the area where the ring finger and little finger converge, which then branches out across the palm to the other fingers. Right there at the top most horizontal line on the palm, the one that curves up. Take the tip of your thumb and press down hard at that point and if you do it right the hair will stand up on your ass. It’s a special kind of pain.

    The palm tendons travel through protective sheaths and if a tendon becomes stressed it swells and makes traveling back and forth difficult and painful. Concentrated stress will cause a nodule (swelling) on the tendon. Cortisone helps but it’s temporary and may make things worse in the long run. The tendon now has a nodule from the injury and the nodule is larger than the sheath and gets hung up frequently. Very painful and the ring finger must be manually pulled out straight. This can happen while holding a fork. Tying a boot. Carrying a 900 degree fry pan to the collander in the sink, snatching an eyeball out of an amcom.

    The fix is ingenious. With the tiniest of tools they bring a vertical chisel inside the sheath and push it to the far end. Then they carefully extend the razor sharp tip til it just barely touches the top inside wall of the sheath, then slowly drag it backwards creating a shallow nano slit. Then they do it again. Careful, don’t cut all the way through. Some how in the past somebody found out that doing that causes the sheath to expand in diameter externally. It’s a unique property. It does not expand interiorly and tighten around the tendon making the problem worse. It expands outwardly making the interior of the sheath larger in diameter and thereby allowing passage of the tendon nodule. See, the nodule itself is the problem but removing it is not an option at this point. They haven’t figured out how to do that without destroying the tendon itself. Think of a steel rod with a deep spot of rust on it. You can use a plasma cutter to remove the rust but you have threatened the structural stability of the rod, weakening it. Thus, the tendon.

    It was interesting conversing with this old dood who is only a few years older than me. He’s a retired structural engineer that sold his steel company last year for $43mil and was capable of explaining the situation to another engineer that was able to understand it. Speaking with someone that speaks well is a dessert and very rare. Funny thing is, when I looked at that old dood I see an old dood but when I look in the mirror I see a middle age dood. As Neal Peart has said, “The mirror lies.”

    Hang in there Rob and good luck!

  • Snakepit Kansas November 25, 2019, 5:21 AM

    With my father’s recent health failure it reminded me that I am just 25 years behind him. I’m still rasslin guys at a local gym three times per week, with many of the guys in their 20’s and 30’s and most 180-225 lbs. I give up age and weight every time I step on the mat. Tendons on young guys stretch. Tendons on guys in their mid-50’s tear, or so I found out. Due to my annual $5K deductible on my health insurance I am getting shoulder surgery on 20DEC. The MRI report and the screaming pain in my right shoulder say I have a labrum tear and two high grade tears on the posterior of the rotator cuff. I’ll be on the hydrocodone for Christmas. Getting old(er) sucks.

  • Vanderleun November 25, 2019, 6:50 AM

    Rob, my friend, God keep you and restore you.

    And as for you, Snakepit, perhaps a less strenuous workout regime is suggested for a bit.

    But God shelter and heal you as well.