Two Monrovia Stalwarts Recover from Recent Surgeries, Share Physical Therapy Stories

    Hal Leavens at Physical Therapy
    Hal Leavens, the unofficial mayor of Monrovia, gets some post-surgical exercise with a physical therapist along with the principal writer for Monrovia Weekly, Susan Motander, who happens to be in the same physical rehab unit in Rosemead for an entirely different reason. – Photo by Susan Motander / Beacon Media News

    For the last three weeks I have been first in the hospital for five days with the balance in a skilled nursing center for physical therapy. No one but staff is allowed to visit.  After the first 14 days in isolation and three negative coronavirus tests, I was moved in with a roommate and allowed to go to the “gym” for physical therapy.  

    The joy of physical therapy is finding a long-time buddy is in the same facility and we try to get our therapy at the same time. The high point is watching Hal Leavens (half of Monrovia’s Welcome Wagon) practicing his “bubble dance.” Having just had back surgery, Hal has been assigned this exercise by physical “terrorists” (as we affectionately refer to them) to work on his balance. Even if Sally Rand were still alive, I don’t think she would need to worry about Hal. Give him some feather fans and it might be a different matter.

    The point of this article is not to give you a smile as you think of Hal and his terpsichorean efforts, but rather suggest (plead) that if you know of anyone in such a facility, check with a family member if calls are appropriate. Most of us are bored. I will be home by the time this is published, but for everyone else a little attention would help. Notes, as antiquated as such a concept is, would be great as well. Visitors are still not allowed. Some places will not even allow flowers. Some will allow some outside food — check with the facility first. Try to let those in isolation know they are not alone. You might make someone’s day.

    Editor’s Note:
    Two Monrovians have been conspicuously AWOL from city events. Susan Motander had to deal with a rather nasty fall recently in which scores of staples were used to fuse the skin back on her leg after having some plate inserted in the leg and subsequently faces a long recovery period. Hal Leavens, on the other hand, was suffering from excruciating back pain for months and was advised to have surgery. He also faces a long recovery period. We wish them both a swift, full recovery. As they say, God speed!


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