A conversation between my mother-in-law and me.

Her name is Betty and she’s 99.

Jaron: How do you like your new assisted living home?

Betty: It’s good. I know you think I can’t keep track of time but I can. I’ve been here for about a month.

Jaron: What with the virus and lockdowns, time gets kind of distorted. It’s normal to confuse dates. I often do.

Betty: I’m sure many things confuse you. That is why you forgot to bring me a toothbrush.

Jaron: I didn’t exactly forget. You’ve had complete dentures since your first daughter was born over 80 years ago.

Betty: I know when that happened. I was there.

Jaron: If you really want me to I’ll bring you a toothbrush next time I visit you.

Betty: Sounds like you’re patronizing me. You don’t know spit about dentistry.

Jaron: Well, as you might recall, my father was a dentist. I have a number of friends who are dentists, and believe it or not, I’ve read most of Dad’s books on oral hygiene. But if you want a toothbrush … there is no problem. Zero. I will bring one next time we visit.

Betty: That’s what you said last time. I need a toothbrush.

Jaron: Do you mind telling me what for?

Betty: To brush my dentures, you Knothead.


If you feel like sending a late Birthday card to Betty, you can mail it to her at:Betty Dahlberg,7647 Pasa Robles Avenue, Lake Balboa, CA 91406

Betty has requested blank birthday cards. Just use a post-it note to say hi and make sure it contains your return address. Stick that inside the card.

Betty will tape your post it note in her diary. She might write you a letter. But she will use your card to send a greeting to one of her many friends.

When she turns 100 I will give you a head’s up. You may sign that card.

Sorry, those are the rules.

NOTE– do not tell her I forgot to remind everyone that her birthday is September 22, 1921

LAST NOTE — She is becoming more stubborn.…/

I think she mentioned to some of her friends in October that Orange Sphere is a sculpture of me.

She said it had pulp for brains.

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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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