Varied secrets for a long life never die By Bob Karolevitz When you get to be 100, people want to know the secret of your longevity.
Reporters come with pad and pencil to interview you, to reveal to the public just what it was that made it possible for you to live so long.
A lot of the comments � which are supposed to reflect the wisdom of age � are relatively dull. What the younger folks want is a formula for great maturity which has a little zip to it. Like:
"I owe it all to black strap molasses, turnip greens and a wee nip before meals."
Now I'm not assuming that I'll make it to the century mark � it's a long way off for me � but for some reason or other, I've been collecting the remarks of centenarians, probably to include them in a column like this one.
I think most of the statements in my file are phoney ones, though. Some are obviously contradictory. While one individual promotes the values of big black cigars and plenty of jolly carousing a la George Burns, another preaches against the evils of tobacco and naughty living.
The closest one elderly gent came to riotous carrying-on was when he rode the ferris wheel at a carnival in 1903.
The sage sayings I've collected include such helpful things as epsom salts, mustard plasters, lots of square dancing, fidelity, plenty of religion, oat bran and even lutefisk and lefse. There are, of course, the old cliches like "an apple a day" and the "early to bed, early to rise" bit.
Among the contrived reflections in my treasury of trivia are:
"I let my wife do all the worrying in our family. She's been gone 24 years now."
"As a youngster I was always wise enough never to stand between a horse and a whiffletree."
"Hard work is the secret of my success. I've avoided it all my life."
"If you have a dozen youngsters, you may not live to be a hundred, but it will certainly seem like it."
"Always carry the left hind leg of a rabbit on your key chain."
"I've chased the gals since I was 14. I never catch any, but the exercise has kept me fit and healthy."
I suppose that when you live for 10 decades, you're not thinking much about pithy sayings. You've got enough trouble just getting out of bed in the morning.
On the other hand, you can rest assured that there'll be a scribe there, asking the 100-year question: "To what do you owe your great age?"
I guess my favorite answer to that question supposedly came from a shrewd greybeard who said: "I can't rightly say now, but currently I'm dickering with two vitamin companies and one big distillery."
In this age of commercialization, that's one comment that almost rings true.
� Robert F. Karolevitz