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Older is Better

An old childhood friend recently related a comment made by an acquaintance of her daughter, KJ. This girl was shocked to learn that KJ’s parents-in their sixties-still lived alone in a big house with a big yard and a garden. The girl quipped, “You need to move them closer to you so you can take care of them. Anyone 65 or over needs to be in a rest home.”

The poor, deluded girl. Obviously she’s never met my husband, the poster child for hyperactivity. Though he is past age 65, his energy level wears out people half his age. He once won a foot race at age 56, against guys in their twenties.

So, just to humor myself and others whom this deluded young girl feels should be sitting in wheelchairs, drooling and wetting our pants, I’m listing below some people who accomplished amazing things at an advanced age.

Ninety-six-year-old Mohr Keet won a place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the oldest bungee jumper ever. He even jumped from South Africa’s Western Cape, a 708-foot drop!

Minoru Saito was 77 years old when he sailed around the world. In fact, he did it eight times.

Smoky Dawson has been known as Australian’s singing cowboy. At ninety-two years of age he recorded an album of original songs called “Homestead of My Dreams.” He won a variety of awards.

This one is my favorite. Dr. Leila Denmark became the oldest practicing pediatrician until she retired at age 103. In fact, she lived to be 114 years of age, making her the verifiably fourth oldest person in the world. (She reminds me of my best friend’s mom, a spunky lady we called “Dr. Anita.”)

Gladys Burrill, age 92, became the Guiness Book of World Record’s oldest female to finish a marathon.

Bart Bratko, age 81, earned the title of the world’s oldest flight instructor.

Pavel Rezvoy, a geologist from Ukraine, was the oldest rower known when he crossed 3,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean in 61 days. He was 67 when he made the record.

Tamae Watanabe, a female, climbed Mount Everest for the second time at age 73.

At age 87, retired Lt. Col. James C. Warren, became the oldest person in the world to earn his pilot’s license. He was a former navigator of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the US armed forces.

So, my young friend-of-a-friend (whom I’ve never met), are you ready to re-evaluate your thoughts about those who have survived long enough to live life to the fullest?

What about you? Any thoughts on "older is better"? Feel free to comment below.

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