Lifestyle: Death don’t have no mercy
Mort Tuber died this week at the age of 102. This is remarkable unto itself but he was working out up to two weeks ago. I know this as I was his personal trainer and group X instructor at Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge, Ca.
His accomplishments were many in his long life on this planet. Film and televison editor, family man and tennis buff. Very opinionated but big of heart. In his long life I was really only a blip as our relationship was slightly over 13 years.
He always asked what my day was like, how I was feeling and doing. We talked about mundane things , his aches and pains, and how he could no longer play tennis. There are plenty of Mort stories but this one is one of my favorites.
Several years ago I needed a ride to pick up my car from the local Toyota dealer in Northridge. The car was ready to be picked up and I asked several people if they could give me a ride. We were just getting out of the Senior Fitness class and Mort overheard my conversations and volunteered to take me there.
At the time Mort was about 96 and his driving skills were at best questionable. His hearing was just about gone and the vision was not much better. Still he was driving his Lexus SUV from one local spot to another. As I could not find another driver and needed to pick up my car, I took up Mort’s offer figuring the trip was only 4 miles and one way.
His SUV has a vast array of dents and body scrapes which indicated Mort did not always maneuver the car very well. The trip was straightforward: right on Rinaldi, left on Tampa, right to Nordhoff. Wide streets with 3 lanes of traffic not at peak rush hour.
Mort started the car headed in the direction of the dealership and it seemed a pretty easy go. However, Mort decided it was a good time to be a tour guide and started to point out several local landmarks and houses to me, driving one handed and turning his head in the direction of whatever he was pointing out.
I kept telling Mort , to keep his hands on the steering wheel and pay attention to the driving. As Mort could barely hear , it did not matter what I said or requested him to do.
He was intent of telling and showing me the points of intrest which were not really interesting. I kept telling him to pay attention to the road and we swerved from left to right lane.
Mort’s driving certainly was an adventure and I was certainly was very happy when we made to the Toyota dealer in one piece. I got out the SUV, thanked Mort and that was the last time I drove with him.
Mort it was a pleasure to have known you.