Monday, December 08, 2008

Meet A Centenarian

I think it's fun to think about making it to 100 years old. (If you didn't have to worry about the money running out) I've never met a centenarian. Life expectancy in the United States has continually been on the increase with the advance of medicine and healthier lifestyles. In conjunction with this increase, the number of individuals 100 years old or greater, or centenarians, has also increased. According to the US Census Bureau:
In 2000, there were 50,454 centenarians in the United States, or 1 per 5,578 people, or roughly 18 per 100,000
In 1990, there were 37,306 centenarians in the United States. or 1 per 6,667 people, or roughly 15 per 100,000
When Forrest Wilson turned 100 years old last May, people asked how he has remained in such good shape. He said, “Living a good clean life, being a Baptist, and being a Republican.”
His advice for a long and happy life is “have a sense of humor” and “make friends.” “It’s easier to smile and make friends,” he says, “than it is to be a grouch.” Mr. Wilson smiles at everyone he sees in the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center in Boone, NC, especially pretty women, and it’s a frisky smile that sometimes seems to hide a secret or a sweet memory. He’s a regular at the senior center lunches, driving his Ford Tempo GL down from his Boone Mountain house off Highway 421 near Vilas after tending to his animals or other chores. He’s up at about 7 each morning and generally makes himself breakfast: grits or instant oatmeal, one cup of coffee, and two or three times a week he makes three eggs, sausage or bacon, and buttered toast with grape jelly or honey. His diet must suit him. He says the only time he’s been in a hospital was to visit. The only medication he takes is a half an aspirin per day. He grew up in Watauga County before electricity reached there and people got around by horse and wagon. Even after working with Blue Ridge Electric for 25 years–from 1946 to 1971–he jokes that he’s still not entirely accustomed to electric lights.
If I live to be 100, I would have to have at least 3 more knee replacements if they last 15 years each. Looking at it that way doesn't make it seem so fun.


Brodad Unkabuddy said...

You came close to meeting a couple of them; Grandpa West lived to be 98 and Nanna lived to be 94, if I'm not mistaken. That's still 3 knee replacements.

TetVet68 said...

America's oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, living his 100th year is former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Ordnanceman (ACOM), later wartime commissioned Lieutenant John W. Finn, USN (Ret.). He is also the last surviving Medal of Honor, "The Day of Infamy", Japanese Attack on the Hawaiian Islands, Naval Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, 7 December 1941.

'Navy Centenarian Sailor', 103 year old, former enlisted Chief Petty Officer, Aviation Chief Radioman (ACRM, Combat Aircrewman), later wartime commissioned Chief Warrant Officer Julio 'Jay' Ereneta, U. S. Navy (Ret.) is a thirty year career veteran of World War One and World War Two. He first flew aircrewman in August 1922; flew rearseat radioman/gunner in the 1920s/1930s air squadrons of the Navy's first aircraft carriers, USS LANGLEY (CV-1) and USS LEXINGTON (CV-2).

Visit my photo album tribute to these veteran shipmates:

San Diego, California

Mike West said...

Granddaddy Barton was in his 90's too.

Lyndsey said...

Oh I love him.