The older you are the more pondering you can do.
So, one day I went to look for some of the more intelligent members of the Discovery Bay seniors and found Darrell Baird. "Darrell," I said, "you've just celebrated another birthday and that makes over 70 of them and when you've had that many you can do an awful lot of pondering. When," I questioned, "is your best pondering time?"
Darrell said that one of the best times for pondering is just after he has gone to bed. "Lying there trying to sleep, you just let your mind drift back and you start remembering things that happened long, long ago," he offered. "And that's pondering at its finest. That's first-class pondering."
"Darrell," I asked, "how long do you generally ponder when you're lying there trying to get to sleep?"
"Well," he said, "if Lourdes doesn't bother me I can generally last maybe 20 or 30 minutes. And," he added, "it's not trivial pondering like some of the younger fellows do. I've talked to them about it. They do what I call 'sub-ponder.' That means that they don't really have pondering down good because, mainly, they don't have that much to ponder about. You have to have lived a long, long time so that you can stretch your memory back to the old days and if you don't have many old days to stretch back to, then you really don't have enough old days to work with."
"You've talked to them about that, Darrell?"
When you first hear Darrell talk like that, you have some difficulty following his reasoning. Later, when you have had time to digest what he's said, you still don't know what he said. It's important to understand that Darrell, like most of the seniors here in Discovery Bay, sometimes make more sense to themselves than they do to others.
Since we were on the subject of pondering, I next found Claudio Bartoli, a very educated man. He is the man who won the new and highly popular contest where you guess the name of the member whose picture is featured in the monthly newsletter. He correctly guessed Myron Lencioni (if you didn't know) and he won the new car.
"Do you ponder much?" I asked.
"If I did I wouldn't tell you," was his answer. Now that's an answer from a very smart man because it really isn't an answer at all, is it? Claudio doesn't talk much, and therefore you know he's very intelligent. His wife, Judy, says he was a doctor or something. You never question (or ponder) the answers given by men as learned as Claudio.
Frank Cramer was also queried: "Pondering, Frank … do you ponder much?"
Frank looks at you without speaking for a while and you aren't sure if he heard you or not. But then he answers: "I like to, I really do, if Alice doesn't catch me."
When Frank talks like that then you know for sure he heard you.
Afterward, I went to a great source. I went to Elwood Davis. Elwood was just celebrated at Harvest Park Bowl because he turned 91. Anytime you find someone 91, you'd better listen to what he says because he must know just about everything. I asked Elwood about pondering. Elwood said that there is short pondering and long pondering and that short pondering is when you just go back maybe 50 years and long pondering is more than that.
"It's harder," he said, "to do long pondering," that there is more stuff to sift through to get to what Elwood refers to as the "ponder thought."
You say, "that's right, Elwood." You have to say that because he is 91 and he knows more than you do.
Ponder: (verb) To consider, think about, think over, contemplate, deliberate, wonder about, muse, brood over, mull over, do a column about.
So much for pondering …