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One Last, Year-End Look at the Passing Parade of People in the News : A New Lease on Life

December 26, 1985|ERIC ONSTAD

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. — View has revisited some of the people and places it reported on in the last several months. Among them:

--Hollywood's Masquers Club, which because of declining funds sold its building and moved.

--Jimmy and Ricky Sperry, blinded in an accident 11 years ago, who received cornea transplants in August.

--Balu Natarajan, who triumphed over 167 other youngsters to win the National Spelling Bee in June.

One morning in January, Dr. Stan Anderson deserted a patient.

Associates knew the spirited San Marino dentist had a tendency to rush off each Thursday to spend the weekend at his Napa Valley winery.

For more than four years, he and his wife Carol made grueling commutes each weekend to crush grapes or bottle their sparkling wine--but this day was different.

Stricken by a burning sensation in his chest, the 57-year-old dentist left an anesthetized patient and rushed to the family doctor.

Two weeks later, a chapter closed on almost a decade's schizophrenic existence as surgeons performed a triple-bypass heart operation on Anderson.

The Andersons had kept an almost superhuman pace since buying a former prune orchard near the sleepy Napa Valley town of Yountville in 1971. Their hectic life style was chronicled in a View story last December.

The stress from a whirlwind schedule--Anderson logged more than 65,000 miles in weekly commutes last year--diet, exercise and heredity were factors leading to his coronary difficulties.

Change of Pace

The shock of surgery and a long recuperation period halted a treadmill life style. "I thought I could walk on water and didn't have feet of clay," said Anderson.

Anderson remembers telling his own patients the dangers of stress, lack of aerobic exercise and bad diets.

"If I had taken my own advice 20 years ago, I wouldn't be in this situation today," he said.

Anderson now tells friends: "God told me to retire. He gave me a good scare."

When Anderson refers to retirement, though, it means accomplishing enough work for one busy person, not two.

By summer, his dental practice was sold and this fall the couple had left Los Angeles and settled in a 1912 farmhouse adjacent to the vineyard, their former weekend home.

With the help of rehabilitation therapy at the hospital, Anderson said he has learned how to stay active while looking out for his health.

Although active before surgery, he was getting very little aerobic exercise, he learned. Anderson was exercising his muscles but doing nothing for his lungs, heart or circulatory system.

Now, he sets aside 30 minutes each day for walking and enjoying the Napa Valley countryside.

A one-time "dairy products freak," Anderson has cut all sources of cholesterol from his diet. Lifting a glass of his own sparkling wine, Anderson smiled, anticipating the next question. "Alcohol is on my diet in small quantities," he said.

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