My takeaway from watching Leslie Stahl’s piece “Living to 90 and Beyond” on Sixty Minutes last Sunday? Drink one-two glasses of wine daily (red or white; it makes no difference), skip the vitamins, walk or do some form of exercise 45 minutes daily, play board games whenever possible, say “yes” to dessert, and keep a little meat on ‘dem’ bones! (Did I miss anything?)
While perhaps not as common as it is today, examples of extraordinary longevity can be found in centuries past. In my family tree, the first people who come to mind are Richard Brodhead (1666-1758), who reached 92, and his second wife Wyntie Pawling who reached 91. My second great grandfather Andrew Jackson Brodhead (1822-1913) reached 90. Another fellow who comes to mind, although he is not an ancestor of mine, is George LaBar. I did a blog post on him ages ago . He was born in 1763 and lived to be 112, still chopping wood when interviewed for a book at age 107. George’s dad—George Sr.—picked up sticks at age 85 to move from eastern Pennsylvania to less-crowded Ohio, lost his wife when he was 98, and remarried at 100. He lived to be 105.
A while back, I clipped the below article from the Grand Forks Herald dated 24 January 1882. This seems like an appropriate post for it—it contains some interesting slices of life, including some amazing examples of longevity. How about you? Anyone in your tree from past centuries who reached 90 or beyond? Give that some thought over a nice glass of wine, and if the answer is yes, share the names of your family members in the comment box below. They deserve a good shout-out!
Gerontology Research Group