Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The oldest man in America


Yesterday I read that the oldest man in America died last Saturday at the grand old age of 112 years. I read about it in the local newspaper obituaries because he lived in my city.

George Rene Francis was born on June 6, 1896 in New Orleans, Louisiana and died at the convalescent home where he resided about 8 miles from where I live. He lived through 19 presidents and saw baseball legend Babe Ruth hit a home run.

Mr. Francis was 33 years old during the economic depression of 1929 and certainly could have given all of us some financial food for thought. I would have loved to listen to him bend my ear and soak up his words of wisdom. The best I've done lately are periodic conversations with a 96-year young man I know.

Mr. Francis smoked cigars until age 75 and got by on six hours of sleep a night. He broke all the rules of healthy eating with a diet heavy on dairy and eggs and some lard sandwiches. He also loved hot links and pizza.

Several weeks ago Mr. Francis refused to eat or drink anything and was hospitalized with pneumonia and just gradually faded away until his death after 112 years and 204 days of life.

Always up for a challenge and numerically oriented, I did a little math to figure out what it would take for me to outperform Mr. Francis in the life longevity department. I need to live at least one day longer than he did to do it - 112 years and 205 days - or until September 12, 2067. That's a long way to go - 58 years and 256 days to be exact - longer than the life I've lived thus far. That assumes, however, that someone doesn't raise the bar by living longer!

I better take good care of myself with plenty of exercise and diet. Or maybe I should do as Mr. Francis did and smoke cigars and eat lard sandwiches. Rest in peace Mr. Francis and thanks for the motivation. I'm on your heels in my long-term goal to be the oldest man in America.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

1 comment:

Charles Long said...

Lard sandwiches!!?? Gross. It does seem from stories I've read that quite a few who live to over 100 break all the good health rules. When I go, I want to go like Moses whose "eye was not dim nor his natural force abated." I want to still be strong and vigorous when my ticket is punched and if lard sandwiches are the key to a long life, I'll die young.