My wife and I often go to the Oviedo Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of
each month. I like looking at all the booths and interacting with the people.
There is one booth at the end of the line that is different from all the others. It is
an information booth that says, “Ask the Old Coots”. Under a tent sit three old
coots, and they sit there in rocking chairs prepared to answer your questions.
They are dressed in T- shirts and farmer jeans, and each look like they enjoy
sweets. I said to them, “It says here on the sign that you answer questions. Is that
right?”. “It sure is”, was their response. So, I asked them, “What is the meaning of
life?” I think my question went a little deeper than the other ones they were
getting because they began just looking at each other. This question could be
answered several different ways. I like the now deceased former Supreme Court
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s answer. She said, “If you want to be a true
professional and an authentic human being, you will do something outside
yourself. Something to repair tears in your community. Something to make life a
little better for people less fortunate than you. That’s what I think a meaningful
life is. Living not for oneself, but for one’s community.” Being a minister, I would
also add having a personal relationship with God.
Arnie Nussbaum had been a resident of Tuscawilla for many years. He was
known as ”The golden voice” of Oviedo and Winter Springs. He served as
announcer, moderator, and master of ceremonies for years never taking any
compensation. He told me that was his community service. Arnie started out in
New York City as a fireman and paramedic, and he was also a nurse. He injured
himself with all the lifting and received a disability retirement. He then worked
for a cosmetic company doing advertising and traveling the country promoting
their products. The last years, he was a legal representative for struggling
children. Arnie and I were friends, and I never dreamed that when we worked
together on the Tuscawilla Homeowner’s “Meet the Candidates Night” that he
would die in less than a week. Arnie found meaning in life by helping and serving
others. He was also a person of faith.
Recently, our city was visited by a hurricane named Ian. This hurricane
brought with it what is known as the five-hundred-year rain. The seventeen plus
inches severely affected our community with fallen trees, flooded roads and
homes, power outages, and water main breaks. My neighbor had a seventy-two-
year-old tree fall down on the middle of her house. (I counted the rings on the
stump). Sitting in my living room, I watched it fall. With that fall comes countless
hours of pain and repair. What was encouraging to me was to see all the
neighbors out helping others. We do care about each other and, as Ruth
Ginsburg stated, do something to repair the tears in our community.
When I was serving as the Superintendent of the Southeast Conference,
there was a widow who was very generous with her time and money. She
annually would give us a matching gift for our programs. She told me one time
that her goal was to leave a little light wherever she went. She left many lights. At
this time of year, we celebrate Thanksgiving. There is much to be thankful for,
and one of these things is a community that truly cares about and helps each
Dr. Kurt Miericke
Publisher, Tuscawilla Today
Tuscawilla Homeowners Association
Tuscawilla Homeowners Association PO Box 195666 Winter Springs, FL 32719-5666 US
Copyright © 2020 Tuscawilla Homeowners Association - All Rights Reserved.