Proof That Age Is Just A State Of Mind
We can't really put aside the common aches and pains associated with aging. But we can ignore them. We can't go back to being that hard-bodied, bullet-proof, head-turner we once were, but we can like ourselves anyway. We can sit around reminiscing, regretting, and refusing to ignite that spark that's still there or we can decide to light it. Aging is something we have no control over. There is no use in trying to hang on to our youth because it is fleeting. Just because we're getting older doesn't mean we don't have much to give. There are scores of seniors out there who don't see their age as a handicap or detriment but rather as just another wonderful mountain to scale. They are proud of their years and it shows.
MEET ROSE GILBERT - At the age of 88, Rose Gilbert teaches Advanced Placement English Literature at Pacific Palisades High School in California. This energetic feisty teacher is affectionately referred to as "Mama G." Her students will testify that her enthusiasm for literature and poetry is infectious and she has no problem clowning it up to make the class more interesting. She once wore a slip over her clothes to teach about "Freudian slips". What is truly amazing is that Mama G doesn't need the money. Her husband left her millions when he died. She has no plans to retire.
MEET BILL TAPIA - At the age of 101, Bill Tapia is still a beloved entertainer. Known as the Duke of the Uke, he has played with Bing Crosby, Fats Domino and Louis Armstrong. He has 90 years of experience as a professional entertainer and is still going strong. He is an icon of old Hawaiian music, playing his ukulele with adept talent. At the age of 10, Tapia played for American troops on the way to the killing fields of World War I. He is very proud of that to this day. Cheerful and young at heart, Bill Tapia doesn't let his age get in the way of what he loves to do. (Bill died in his sleep in December, 2011 one month shy of turning 104. His legacy lives on.)
MEET GEORGE H.W. BUSH - At the age of 85, the former president of the United States marked his birthday by leaping from a plane and zooming downward at over a 100 miles per hour. He landed safely. He chose to skydive on his 75th and 80th birthdays too. Always active, he says he has slowed down a bit from his former athletic days but does not intend to stop moving. He told reporters " Just because you're an old guy, you don't have to sit around drooling in the corner." Mr. Bush's spirit is an inspiration to other seniors to stay active. His age has not stopped him from doing what he thinks is fun. We can look forward to his 90th birthday jump.
MEET NOLA OCHS - At the age of 95, Nola Ochs received her college degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. She had been taking classes for years and decided after her husband's death to move into the dorms and finish her degree work. She joked with reporters that she was a "senior" not just in life but in college. Ochs is very proud of her earned Bachelor's degree in general studies with a history concentration. But now that this part of her life is history, she has not ruled out pursuing a Master's degree. She said she'd like to accumulate as many degrees as possible. "And I'm going to use them too, when I get old," she quipped. There is no doubt, she just may do that.
MEET BUSTER MARTIN - At the age of 94, Buster Martin made it to the finish line of London's marathon race. It is a 26 mile route, a challenge to even younger runners. Buster caused much controversy when he claimed he was actually 101 years old. His goal to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records backfired when it was discovered he was only a sprightly 94 years of age. Still, Buster's spunk and endurance is to be nothing but admired. He still works for Pimlico Plumbers and was recognized in 2006 as the UK's oldest employee.
MEET CLINT EASTWOOD - At the age of 79, Clint Eastwood hasn't slowed down. The macho cowboy we all love is still making movies - his latest, Gran Torino, is a big hit. He is the oldest leading man to attain a #1 box office hit. Eastwood has starred in hit movies for over 50 years and he has no plans to stop. He is currently working on two new movies set for production in 2010. His walk has lost a bit of its former swagger but viewing him in action can only "make my day".