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The vital things that make life spectacular

In the 100th episode of Brief but Spectacular, 92-year-old Richard Goldbloom offers his take on the things that have made his life spectacular, and what it’s like to begin losing your memories.

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  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    This is our 100th episode of Brief But Spectacular. I'm Steve Goldbloom.

    RICHARD GOLDBLOOM, Grandfather of Steve Goldbloom: And I'm Steve's favorite grandfather, Richard Goldbloom.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    It's very fitting that you are the 100th guest on Brief But Spectacular.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Oh, I'm flattered.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    You know why?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Because I'm 100, or nearly?

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Well, you are close to 100 years old, which is amazing.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    You know how old you are?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    No.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    You're going to be 93 this year.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    My God. If I had known I was going to live this long, I would've taken better care of myself.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    And it's fitting, because you titled this series. You came up with it. Do you know that?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    I think I remember that.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    The story that I tell is that I went to synagogue and left.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    That's correct.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Snuck out, came back in, and what did you say?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    I said you had made a brief but spectacular appearance.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    I wanted to ask you a couple of questions, not just because you're my grandfather and I love you, and I, you know, look up to you.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Can I get that in writing?

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    No.

    Part of what I wanted to ask you about is that you, right now, are going through memory loss.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Change of life, yes.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    A change of life. And things that you used to do for yourself, like manage finances, drive a car, manage medicine, other people do for you.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Right.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    And I wanted to ask you if that bothers you at all.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    No. I consider the alternative.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    What is the alternative?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Being dead. So, I'm quite happy where I am.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Yes.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    If I can remember where I am.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Do you know what we're doing?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    I have no idea. But keep talking.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    We're going to look at this camera here.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Right.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    And we're going to do on three a big clap.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    OK.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Right in front of your face. Ready? One, two, three.

    (CLAPPING)

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Just one clap.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Just one clap.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    What does it feel like to forget? Or does it feel like anything?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Well, there are some things I would rather forget. In that case, it's a blessing. And, otherwise, I learned to live with it.

    You know, people remind me, like, when to get up, when to go to bed, things like that.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Do you remember when you stopped driving?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Did I stop?

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    You stopped driving, yes.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    I didn't know that.

    I don't particularly miss it. People drive me everywhere.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Tell me the role that music has played in your life.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    I grew up with a lot of music in my environment. And I took to the piano very readily. I played by ear before I ever had a music lesson. I still play, but mostly for my own amazement.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    Tell me how lucky you feel to have had to have the kind of marriage that you have, which is extraordinary and lasted more than 60 years.

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Yes, that is true. That was a test of my wife's endurance. It was a great lifelong love affair. She was a very acute assessor of other people. And she was very good to me. She recognized all my shortcomings and discussed them with just about everybody.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    When she passed away, how did that change your life?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Oh, dramatically and forever. I mean, I still miss her a lot. And, in that sense, you know, something vital is gone out of my life.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    And you still think about her every day?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Pretty near every day. Every once in a while, I take a day off.

  • STEVE GOLDBLOOM:

    What do you still take pleasure in?

  • RICHARD GOLDBLOOM:

    Life.

    My name is Richard Goldbloom, and this has been my Brief But Spectacular take.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Wow, Richard Goldbloom, the things you remember. We're so grateful for that.

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