Episode 32: M*A*S*H’s Mike Farrell: Friendship and Wisdom

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Friendship and wisdom are two of the saving virtues of the Third Age.  Friendship is a special kind of love that endures the winter of loss, fills the spaces of our heart and makes so many moments special.  And wisdom allows us to carry the nourishing cup of understanding to the thirsty mouths of the world as well as our selves. Today’s show is about both: friendship and wisdom.  The friendship is between Mike Farrell, famous for his role in Mash, and his friend, author John O’Donohue, who unexpectedly passed away recently. The wisdom is in a book by John called To Bless the Space Between Us

Mike Farrell is best known for his eight years on M*A*S*H and five seasons on ProvidenceHe is also a writer, director, producer, and author of Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist.   Mike joins us to talk about the new book, To Bless the Space Between Us, written by his dear friend, the late John O’Donohue.  O’Donohuepassed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 52 – just two months before To Bless the Space Between Us was released.

What does it mean to bless others and ourselves? In this collection of O'Donohue's poetic prayers, the author of Beauty and Anam Cara focuses on bringing God's blessings into the liminal spaces in our lives: times of transition, grieving, change or preparation for the unknown. Some of the blessings are for specific situations that are bread-and-butter staples of other prayer books, such as benedictions over births, weddings, new jobs or new homes. Others are unexpected and bravely dark, including a prayer for the loved ones left behind after a suicide, or for a parent after the death of a child. O'Donohue is not afraid to tackle the fear and guilt that many harbor secretly, bringing shame and addiction out into the open even while celebrating new life and new love. His writing is sensitive and deep: As light departs to let the earth be one with night, Silence deepens in the mind, and thoughts grow slow; The basket of twilight brims over with colors, he says of evening Vespers. The book closes with the Irish priest's personal—and often profound—musings on the act of blessing, drawing on Celtic spirituality and the wisdom of poets and philosophers.

Transcript

Peter Brill: Hello and welcome to “The Third Age” with the doctor and the man from Hollywood. I am the doctor, Doctor Peter Brill and the man from Holly wood is David Debin.

Why in the world would you be ashamed of your age? My goodness! Think of the alternative.

On this show: we turn the myths of aging upside down; we sort out the scientific and the trendy, the medical and the cultural; and we tell you everything you need to know about living the third age.

Remember we guarantee if you listen to us you will never grow old.

David Debin: Wow! Anybody who doesn’t listen to us after that has got to be just to old to hear us.

Peter Brill: Or they will grow old.

David Debin: Or they will grow old.

Well I am the man from Hollywood. I am David Debin.

The third age usually starts somewhere around age 45 or 50. It is a time when you start to feel a strong sense of deeper meaning and fulfillment in your life. It is a time when you start to feel a desire for meaning and fulfillment in your life. As you know already, the first age is childhood, the second age is building career and family, and the third age is a major change or transition to a whole new set of problems, values, opportunities, and gratifications.

So join us in this journey to discover what brings passion, purpose, and joy into this pretty much uncharted time of life.

Peter Brill: What is that thing called that goes “dun ta da dun dun dun ta”?

David Debin: It is called a fanfare.

Peter Brill: Fanfare.

[Recording of fanfare]

Peter Brill: Like that. They should just throw one in random anytime. They don’t have to hit it on cue.

Friendship and wisdom: two of the saving virtues of the third age. Friendship is a special kind of love that endures the winter of loss, fills the spaces of our hearts, and makes so many moments special. Wisdom allows us to carry the nourishing cup of understanding to the thirsty mouths of the world as well as ourselves.

Today’s show is about both friendship and wisdom. Friendship is between Mike Farrell, famous for his role on Mash, and his friend author John O’Donohue who unexpectedly passed away recently. Wisdom is in a book by John called “To Bless The Space Between Us”. This will be a moving show so stay with us.

David Debin: I am with you.

Peter Brill: I am with you. Are you with me out there?

David Debin: Yes. I am totally with you. I know that you have something to say that you…

Peter Brill: Well I wanted to talk a little bit about the purpose of this show and my purpose in being here. A lot of people are talking about purposes these days. As a matter of fact, as I was driving in listening to the radio somebody was talking about purpose.

David Debin: Yeah. On…Yeah.

Peter Brill: We won’t mention the station.

David Debin: Right.

Peter Brill: But, you know, a fundamental choice that people make in their lives is whether to lead their life as a series of just unrelated incidents or experiences, you know, just to wake up in the morning and you have this experience and that experience, good, bad. Some are happy. Some are not. But you feel part of nothing larger than yourself in the flow of humanity.

And for many people as you look to the process of civilization you think of, we came out of caves with a muddy spear in our hands and now we have walked on the moon and we live a lot longer lives in much more comfort. But we also live on the brink of extinction and have many bad things that come about. So some people make those equivalent. They think of the ultimate extinction of human kind and it makes every moment meaningless although we get skills and experience. We can no longer afford to abuse the environment because we are reaching some point where we are going to reach an irreversible part of our life of the earth and we certainly can’t resort to violence because we are going to end up destroying ourselves and the world.

While others of us in the flow of human life the distinction of human kind is not necessarily the outcome for a long time and maybe forever. We don’t know the future. The important thing is to find some way to feel part of the river of progress of human kind.

Certainly for this generation the two major challenges that we face that are important to me are our tendency, our brinksmanship, with destruction of the ecology of the earth and tendency to resort to violence as a solution to problems. We can no longer afford either of those.

So I think all of us need to find a personal legacy, some way to attach to the flow of human life to the flow of human progress and to leave your part. That is one of the reasons we do this show. Because our hop is that we can motivate you out there, you in the third age, to find a purpose to your life to contribute to others.

That is my thought for the day.

David Debin: That is your thought for the day and besides seconding all of those thought, I think that the operative factor in that is my legacy, the word legacy, because in the third age as we become more acquainted with possibility that we may die we…..

[Laughter]

Peter Brill: Do you know something that I don’t know. I would like to take your medicine.

David Debin: I should be taking it myself.

What we feel and find is that what is being left behind is the people that we love and those people that we love deserve to have from us a legacy of love and a legacy of purpose that they can carry on. That is what the third age becomes about as we go forward. There are different words for it. Erickson called it generativity. There are different words and ways to put it, but it is what we leave behind us, to the people that we love and to others, that are worthy of carrying on. That is what we are doing in the third age.

Peter Brill: We would love to hear about your legacy. Contact us at www. Thirdagefoundation.com.

David is it time if we can get the fanfare we are all set? We don’t get a fanfare for this one? News story.

David Debin: No. News story is a gong.

Peter Brill: A gong. Sorry.

David Debin: Well today there is fighting. You were talking about fighting going on and everywhere everyone is fighting. Right Emily? Emily is here with us too.

Emily: Yes.

David Debin: You’ve got to talk right into there.

Emily: Yes. There is fighting everywhere.

David Debin: There is fighting everywhere. We don’t want it to keep going on but we want to tell you about some of it. There was a fight between a married couple that took a twist that even the cops have never heard of. Ok? You might call it going from zero to crazy in one second. What happened was the fight reportedly started at the husbands…it was a married couple and it started at the husband’s mother’s house and it eventually escalated to: the wife getting furious; grabbing the car keys from the husband; she got got into the drivers seat; and he stood in front of the car because he was going to stop her from leaving. Well it didn’t. She hit the gas. He jumped onto the hood and she was  on a joy ride around the neighborhood  then decided to take another turn merging onto highway 80 here.

The strange sight passed by dozens of stunned people because the guy was cling onto the front of the car…

Peter Brill: I can image.

David Debin: The cops got close. She was going about 80 miles an hour with the guy clinging to the car. She eventually got off the freeway striking another vehicle. That didn’t stop her. she drove into a field.

This is anger folks. This is anger.

Peter Brill: This is an angry woman.

David Debin: Yes. A very angry woman. So we just want to caution you. Don’t drive with your husband clinging to the front of the car.

Peter Brill: Don’t drive mad.

David Debin: Don’t drive mad.

Peter Brill: What was she mad about?

David Debin: They didn’t say. That is a good question. They just didn’t say what she was so mad about.

Peter Brill: Lisa what do you think she was mad about.

Lisa: It could be a number of things.

Peter Brill: Out guest today is Mike Farrell. He is best known for his eight years on Mash and his five seasons on Providence. He is also a writer, director, and producer. He is the author of “Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor to Activist”. Mike is here to talk with us today about his dear friend the late John O’Donohue author of the new book “Bless The Space Between Us. The author whose best selling book was- I don’t know how you say this- “Anam Cara”…

David Debin: Anam Cara

Peter Brill: …passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 52,  which is very young, just two months before this last book was released.

Welcome to the show John.

David Debin: Mike.

Peter Brill: Mike. Sorry.

Mike Farrell: John is here.

Peter Brill: Yeah. John is here too.

David Debin: Welcome to the show John too. He is probably listening if you guys were that close.

[Laughter]

Peter Brill: Yeah. Unconsciously.

So tell us about yourself and about the book.

Mike Farrell: You have sort of given some sense of who I am. I am, in this context, a friend and a very sorry friend of Johns. Sorry that he is gone from the scene at least physically and proud to be able to talk about him and about his book. John was a dear friend and a poet. Actually, John was a priest for many years and then he left the priesthood and became a student of philosophy and poetry, and a writer. “Anam Cara” which you just described, his first book, the term means soul and friend.

John’s life and his life, his work, his poetry, certainly his life as a priest, and every other part of his life was about remarking on our connection to the divine in life and he did it in ways that made it really quite beautiful for people to understand and realize their own importance in the world, their own connection to divinity, and their own beauty.

I got to know him through our mutual work with a refugee aid and development organization called “Concern America”. His fascination with the work of the organization and its Irish roots brought him to the organization over time. We got to know each other because I had been and I am working with concern for over the last quarter of a century or more. Getting to know John was just one of those huge treats in life that you experience when you meet someone who is somehow more than just a simple human being.

David Debin: How did you meet? How did you find out that he was more than a simple human being?

Mike Farrell: We met at an event, actually, for concern. He had come to know the people and know the work and they had invited him to speak at the 30th Anniversary, I believe it was, some years ago. I spoke as well and I am once of those people who when you hear words or phrases that are significant to you or want to capture them. I write them down and try to find ways to  steal them and use them.

David Debin: Research.

Mike Farrell: Yeah. And when John talked I just began grabbing every piece of paper I could find and scribbling down these phrases and words and things that he said. It was just amazing to listen to this guy. I said, “I have go to get to know him.” So I invited him to my home to meet with some friends of mine and speak. Ultimately, we just became very dear friends. My wife and I have visited him in Ireland in his home and he was here in our home any number of times. We communicated regularly and his death at the terribly young age of 52 was just so stunning and so unexpected because he was a big man in every sense of the word and hail and hearty and you expected him to live forever. So to suddenly learn that he is gone is a very difficult thing.

Peter Brill: Do you have the book with you?

Mike Farrell: I do.

Peter Brill: Tell us what a blessing…It makes a big difference between a poem and a blessing in the book, right?

Mike Farrell: He does. Yeah.

Peter Brill: What is the difference between a poem and a blessing?

Mike Farrell: John’s view was that we foregoing ritual as much of the modern world has done is not something that he argued with. He wasn’t particularly big on ritual. But he said that we need to mark transitions, what he calls thresholds, we need to mark moments, movement in our lives, and acknowledge them.

For him he said, “blessings have always been something that clerics do, priests do, or whomever.” But he said, “Blessings can be things that people do for each other and they should be those things that mark new beginnings, new transitions.” He, as you say, differentiated it from poetry because he didn’t want to have the feeling that it had to have a kind of poetic message that a blessing was very simply a statement of acknowledgement.

I find his blessings extraordinarily poetic.

Peter Brill: Yeah. Now the difference that I picked up from the book- I didn’t know him but from what he says in his book- is a poem is contained unto itself. It is a work of art unto itself. A blessing is directed from something to something, like to a person or to an event or something.

Would you pick one that is special for us and give us a sense of a blessing?

Mike Farrell: I will. I was just reading one because my son is being married here at my home in a week and a half and I was thinking that I would want to do this for him. I want to do this blessing for marriage that John wrote.

“As spring unfolds the dream of the earth may you bring each others hearts to birth.

 As the ocean finds calm in view of land may you love the gaze of each others mind.

 As the wind arises free and wild may nothing negative control your lives.

As kindly as moonlight might search the dark so gently may you be when light grows scarce.

 As surprised as the silence that music opens may your words for each other be touched with reverence.

 As warmly as the air draws in the light may you welcome each others every gift.

As elegant as dream absorbing the night may sleep find you  clear of anger and hurt. As twilight harvests all the days color may love bring you home to each other.”

David Debin: Wow!

Peter Brill: Wow!

David Debin: That is beautiful.

Peter Brill: This is, by the way, for those out there who are interested in this book, it is filled with the most poetic and insightful material. It is just amazing.

Mike Farrell: Isn’t it? I was reading it one day and said to my wife- my sister-in-law is an artist and there is a blessing for the artist here is the early part of the book – and I said, “Oh, I have got to send this to Karen.” and did. That morning was when I learned of John’s passing and I though there is something…He was talking to me in some way that I didn’t fully comprehend. I don’t yet I guess.

But there is so much in this book, as you just suggested, for everything that you can imagine. All of these moments of transition in our life that he fears go unremarked that he wanted people to have an opportunity to bless along the way.

Peter Brill: I agree with him in once sense that the traditions… that we need to put these things into words. But I disagree with him in the following sense; I think we have lost ceremony in this society. I think we need ceremony very very badly. I don’t mean stale ceremonies of life. I mean real ceremonies, real rituals, things that have meaning to us that can mark these and these are wonderful if you are ever going to design something for your family or for yourself.

David Debin: We are going to come back. I am gong to ask Mike, because he is much better at reading words than either you or I are, to read another one of these. You can take a look at it quickly on page 71 Mike and then we will come back and do that one.

This is “The Third Age”. We will be right back. Don’t go away.

Peter Brill: Welcome back to “The Third Age”.  I am one of your co-hosts Doctor Peter Brill. I am here with my partner David Debin, the man from Hollywood. Our host today is Mike Farrell, I am very happy to say.

David Debin: Out guest today.

Peter Brill: Out guest today. I am sorry. I am not feeling to good.

David Debin: Peter is not feeling to well out there because he may be actually off his chair in the studio. Peter came back from Mexico and brought the revenge so he is doing his best to be here with us today. He is turning purple, though.

[Laughter]

Peter Brill: Anyway, we have Mike Farrell, actor, producer, an activist. Did you rehearse during the break?

Mike Farrell: I didn’t. You are going to have to help me a little bit.

David Debin: Ok.

Mike Farrell: The book I have in front of me is the Irish version.

Peter Brill: Could you read with a lilt?

Mike Farrell: It is a bit of a brogue.

David Debin: You know that our show is “The Third Age” and…

By the way we just want to remind our listeners that we are talking to Mike about the book written by his friend who recently passed away, John O’Donohue.  The name of the book is “To Bless the Space Between Us.” We are talking about blessings and gratitude and there is one in here for old age Mike.

Mike Farrell: For old age.

David Debin: It comes under the thresholds section. There are blessings for all kinds of things here: thresholds in life; desires in life; beginnings in life; and there is a beautiful one here for old age.

Mike Farrell: I have that on page 87 in my book.

David Debin: Ok. So you are 17 pages ahead of me.

Mike Farrell: Here we are.

“May the light of your soul mind you.

May all your worry and anxiousness about your age be transfigured,

May you be given wisdom for the eyes of your soul to see this is a time of gracious harvesting.

May you have the passion to heal what has hurt you and allow it to become closer and become one with you.

May you have great dignity and a sense of how free you are.

Above all may you be given the wonderful gift of meeting the eternal light that is within you.

May you be blessed and may you find a wonderful love in yourself for yourself.”

David Debin: Beautiful! Couldn’t say to much more to the process of aging. That is what it is all about isn’t it?

Peter Brill: This is the eternal light inside you. Are you on that path? Have you found it? Is that part of your journey?

Mike Farrell: Oh I think the recognition that it exists is the big step. For me the rest of it is the… I call it the divine. It is that spark, that divine spark, that Sir Clarence Darrell said makes us reach upward for something higher and better than anything we have ever know.

David Debin: You said John had been a priest and then he became a poet, a writer, a student. Did he find that he was restricted by the formalities and bounds of the church as any organized religion does have restrictions?

Mike Farrell: I think it goes back to what Peter said earlier about ritual and ceremony. For John I think ritual was stultifying, where a ceremony can be new, exciting and open.
So I don’t disagree that we have the need for some sort of ceremony in our lives and I certainly don’t think John would disagree either. But I think the idea of going through the motions of a ritual again and again and again can lose its significance with people.

David Debin: It sure does.

Mike Farrell: I think that was the point he was making.

Peter Brill: That was a very good point.

David Debin: That was a good point because I know that personally more and more people…On the other hand, there are lots of other people to whom ritual is important and offers this structure for their lives where otherwise they wouldn’t have it.

Mike Farrell: As long as it does one wouldn’t quarrel with it.

Peter Brill: That is right.

David Debin: Yeah.

Peter Brill: For many it gets stale and it is just going through the motions.

Can we ask a little bit about your journey?

Mike Farrell: Sure.

Peter Brill: Your in the third age I assume. I will give you a period of 50 plus.

Mike Farrell: Yes.

Peter Brill: Tell us a little bit about your journey. You somehow have become much of an activist, evidently.

Mike Farrell: Yeah. I am what is know as an activist. It is not a word I am fond of. Only because I don’t like this pigeon holing that people where you categorize somebody and suddenly you think you know everything about them. But because I do, I am involved in social justice issues, I am called an activist.

A fellow came to me and said, “I would like for you to write a book about it.” I thought about that for a while and I said, “I don’t know that I can write a how to book about being an activist.” But in the discussion I said, “You know what I could do? I could write a book about who this person is, sort of where he came from and how he developed and the steps along the way that a guy who aimed at a motion television and motion picture career and achieved a fair amount of success in that regard but at the same time was developing of a sort of parallel track into a person with a very different appreciate of what the responsibilities were for being a citizen of the Untied States of America in the world today.

So that is the story the book tells “The Journey to Actor and Activist”. 

My own journey was one not unlike a lot of other peoples but I suppose it has some unique aspects to it that I try to point out in the book. I was the child of a working class, sort of lower class, family and raised fortunately here in Las Angeles. We lived under the- I will have to say –tyrannical power of a hard drinking two fisted tough Irishman who didn’t understand about nurturing, stroking, and loving. His understanding of loving was keeping a roof over the families head and food on the table and he did that to the point that it killed him. It let me, certainly, and I think my siblings with a real sense of something deeply missing and in the process of trying to figure out what that was and how one deals with that sense of loss in ones life has been a life long journey for me.

Peter Brill: How does the social activity, social outlet… You missed the opening of the show but I was talking about my beliefs and feeling about that. So you are echoing some of the things we are talking about here. But how does that help fill that gap?

Mike Farrell:  I am not sure exactly that it does. But what It is is a reflection of what I learned as a child without understanding that I was learning it.  That was about the disequilibrium of power, as I call it. A very powerful person, a very powerful force in ones life that has power over you, you are the one without power, and in that dynamic you have to figure out how to stay alive, how to survive.

First that developed into a real rage in me and then it developed into a kind of search- as I described a minute ago. What I have come to understand is that I identify with those people, those situations, those groups, those whatever, who are the recipients of the abuse of powerful people. That has made me to want to reach out and help when I can to help sort of even the scale, rectify the situation. I suppose on some level it’s a way for me to redeclare my own existence and the reason for it and the opportunities it presents.

David Debin: Boy that is fabulous. I have never heard it put that way. I love that phrase “disequilibrium of power” and how to stay alive and thrive in the face of that.

Peter Brill: Don’t you think that most of the problems have to do with power in poverty? I mean, wealth and power.

David Debin: You know what? That is a big question and we are going to have to give Mike two minutes to think about it.

Peter Brill: No. He is to good to give him that long.

David Debin: But we shall soon hear.

We will be right back with “The Third Age”. Don’t go away we are here with Mike Farrell.

Peter Brill: Welcome back to “The Third Age”.  I am one of your co-hosts. I hope to get this introduction right this time. I am one of your co-hosts Doctor Peter Brill. I am here with the man from Hollywood, David Debin. Out guest today is Mike Farrell of MASH fame. He has written a book also, “Just Call Me Mike: A Journey to Actor and Activist”.

David Debin: And activist.

Peter Brill: I almost got it right.

David Debin: Almost. It is that revenge still working on you.

Peter Brill: Where can they get your book?

David Debin: :  Also we have been talking about Mike’s friend the late John O’Donohue the author of a new book which you should really look into “To Bless The Space Between Us.”

Mike we were talking about what got you to want to help people and to reach out and do more than just sit there and take your share of the pie. What I wanted to hear….And I think that almost all of us, hopefully, have some kind of a story about how we have affected others in a highly positive way individually. I know how it is for me and for Peter. I was wondering if you could just tell us- I know you do a lot of different things for people- but if you could tell us one story of one person that you interacted with and hopefully made their life a little better that would be great for our people to hear.

Mike Farrell: There is a little back story to it if you can stand it.

David Debin: Good. Yep.

Mike Farrell:  Let me say first of all about what we were talking about before the break…

David Debin: Oh sorry.

Mike Farrell: I think it was Saint Augustine that said, “The big great struggle in life is between the love of power and the power of love.”

Peter Brill: Yes. Absolutely! Wealth and power.

Mike Farrell:  I was at a very difficult transition point, I guess, in my life. I was helped by being directed to a place that would be known as a half way house with a group of people who are reforming or trying to reform, drug addicts, alcoholics, people with sexual difficulties, all kinds of problems, people out of mental institutions and jail, people that my father would have thought of as the dregs of society. These were people who had come to a place where they understood that they had to learn to tell the truth and face the truth about them selves or they were going to die.

In that experience of working with these people because I came to them in need and I was embraced by this group of people and taught a couple of things. Probably the most important message I got out of it was ‘that all human beings want the same things, love, attention, and respect’. It is those fundamental human needs that we all strive for, work for, and in tom many instances, unfortunately, cheat for and gain for in not trusting and believing in our selves and not believing that we are worthy of them so we do some kind of nasty sort of double cross to try to get parts of them.

Peter Brill: We double cross our selves.

Mike Farrell: Exactly! And in the process of working with this organization I went from what they call the stupid group- those people to stupid to know how to ask for what they want- to the responsible group, which is people who had come to understand their own responsibility to themselves and to others.

In that we did a lot of group therapy stuff. And -to get to your point about a story- I was actually leading a group after having been their for quite some time with a young man who had been in prison at least twice maybe three times. He was out and he wanted to set his life straight. He was very homely fellow, buckteeth, misshapen face. He was a very bright guy. He worked with books. I mean numbers in books. He was not a CPA but started doing bookkeeping for people. Anyway,  he would embezzle money and he would get himself thrown in jail.

The issue was what is going on with you and why are you continually defeating yourself. He was a very hard guy to break. Finally, in one of the sessions a young woman- we knew he had problems with the women- a young woman really pressed on him and said, “Just tell us about yourself a little bit” and tried to get him to open up and  he had a very difficult time talking or even looking at her.

Finally, she said, “In your dreams what would you want to be?”  You saw him sort of cloud up and look away and think for a minute. Finally, he said, “I have always wanted to work with the blind.”

I thought, “Oh my God. This poor poor man, all he wants to be is not seen  because he thinks he is homely and ugly and therefore unacceptable.”

David Debin: That is fabulous.

Mike Farrell:  And …

Peter Brill: And there it is.

Mike Farrell: And there it is.

Peter Brill: There is the parable on humankind.

Mike Farrell: Oh Lord.

Peter Brill: We all live with our insecurities and our limitations. It is so painful when you see the truth of life.

Mike Farrell: Yes. And the embrace that he received from everybody in that room as a result of that self exposure was so powerful.

David Debin: Isn’t that the most powerful of all, when somebody comes out and just exposes even though they may not know that they were hiding?

Mike Farrell: Exactly.

David Debin: It is just so powerful.

Peter Brill: Then it is transformative if you rise above it.

Tell us about your book. What is the name of it? Where do people get it?

Mike Farrell: It is “Just Call Me Mike”.  “A Journey to Actor and Activist” is the subtitle and people can get it at local book stores and independent book shops, online on Amazon. It is published by Akashic books. If you go to akashicbooks.com it is there.

Peter Brill: I have one other thing to say to you, if you don’t mind putting this on the air.

David Debin: He is trying to get an autograph. Watch out.

Peter Brill: I don’t believe in autographs.

I have a few names to mention to you and somebody here at the station gave me these names. I just want to see if you recognize them. Lloyd Brenset?

Mike Farrell: Sure.

Peter Brill: Joanne?

Mike Farrell: Lloyd and Joanne? Sure. Of course.

Peter Brill: And Shelly?

Mike Farrell: Shelley is my wife.

Peter Brill: Yep. So who possibly at our station could know all those people?

Mike Farrell: Who at your station would know all those people? There is a good question.

Peter Brill: It is a guy names Les Carroll. It is our station manager.

Mike Farrell: Oh that is why. Lloyd and Joanne are friends of Shelly and I in a book club.

David Debin: So we are doing the wire tapping. We are doing all the things we need to do.

Peter Brill: We really investigate you thoroughly. You fit right in with the administration today.

David Debin: Mike we want to thank you so much for being with us, also for being so great a friend as to carry on your friend John O’Donohue’s work. That is a really incredible thing that you are doing. We want to thank you. Hopefully you will come back and talk to us again on “The Third Age”.

Mike Farrell: I would love to do that. Thanks very much.

David Debin: This is the second man from Hollywood on our show today, David Debin and we’ll be right back.

Peter Brill: This is Doctor Peter Brill. You’re back with “The Third Age”. I am here with my co-host David Debin. And you know what? Where part of our new show is that we are going to have a minute, if you are looking for something to have fun here it is.

David Debin: Shannon Brooks with the Santa Barbara Visitors Bureau on the latest things you can do to have right here in your own back yard, Santa Barbara America’s Riviera.

Shannon Brooks: The Music Academy of the West is a cultural treasure in Santa Barbara. Every summer the world’s most talented musicians come to train for professional careers. The sixty-first annual Music Academy Summer School and Festival will take place June 23rd through August 16th and feature 190 events including the west coasts premiere of William Bolcom’s opera “A Wedding”. Performances by legendary conductors and pianists as well as guest artists like the Canadian Brass and violinist Donald Weilerstein.

Master classes and performances take place on the music academy grounds and in venues throughout Santa Barbara.
 
In addition to having the opportunity to see the world’s next musicians it is a great chance to check out the music academies newly renovated grounds on the MeerFlores Estate in Montecito.

For more information visit musicacademy.org.

Peter Brill: So one of the fun things you can do. There are a million things to do. That is not a commercial. We are not paid by the music academy. That is just giving you an idea of something fun to do. There is a million master classes and lots of music that you can enjoy.

So…

David Debin: What do you want to do? What did we learn today? I will tell you one thing we learned is that you better really get your kicks now because I just read a story, in Utah a guy named Dan Kidder doesn’t go to bed early and that is why he is still alive. A thirty-eight caliber bullet went through a wall of his house and through the headboard on his bed at 8 pm just where he would have been putting his head when he went to sleep. It was a wild bullet fired from somewhere else and, you know, anything can happen.

So it is time to get your legacy on the road. Do the things that make some sense and help other people before it is to late.

Peter Brill: You know, because that is the dichotomy David. On the one hand you may not live another minute. So why not live for the immediate? Why not make everything right now? Why contribute anything to anybody?  If this was your last minute you would just enjoy it. On the other hand, if you live your life constantly as just if it is the last minute you don’t leave a legacy and you don’t have any purpose.

So it is one of those inherent paradoxes or dilemmas of human life that we keep thinking and all these people keep telling us that there is a solution to human life. You can become enlightened as an end state.   The end state is little lesson that there is no solution. The best you can do is find the right balances in life.

David Debin: One of the things we do that help find the right balances is being with other people.

Peter Brill: Absolutely!

David Debin: We have these fabulous third age groups of 6, 7, 8 people who meet once a week usually in a private home or another place. They get together and they talk about their lives and they share the problems and the joys of the transition into this stage of life. In our groups we have people as young as 48 and as old as78. There is no limit to age limits on where you are when you want to work with other people. It is impossible to do it yourself.

Peter Brill: So how do they join.

David Debin: They call 969-9794. That is 969-9794 or they can go to our website which is thirdagefoundation.com. Go to that website and there is a place where you can acquire about our group and someone will contact you. But don’t put it off because we have people who…We even have people who graduate from our groups and go on to live perfect lives totally enlightened.

Peter Brill: Absolutely!

[Laughter]

They can walk on water too.

David Debin: They can walk on water.

Peter Brill: Emily you’ve got thirty seconds. What did you learn from today.

Emily: Today I think it was just about learning to really embrace all the things around you, kind of see everything as a blessing, just feel happiness from the people around you, and there is good in everybody, the light within.

Peter Brill: The light within.

David Debin: Can you see my light?

Emily: Shining very bright.

David Debin: Ok.

Peter Brill: We are blinded by it.

David Debin: I am blinded by my own light.

We are going to say goodbye. Thank you.

We want to thank Lisa Hedley our engineer, our associate producer Emily,  Richard, and, of course, the great Les Carroll who runs this whole operation.

Thanks a lot.

Come and see us next time.