Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cornell University Has Bragging Rights For A First -Ever 80th Class Reunion

It used to be that June was about brides and weddings, but as you get older you realize that June is really about reunions! All kinds of reunions will be going on this summer: camp, grade school, prep school,high school, college, family, military, plus sorority and fraternity reunions. In fact I'm heading out to San Diego in August for a Tri Delta sorority reunion. Reunions have become big business with websites like and e-magazines like making the planning of and attending reunions much easier than ever before.

Reunions have been around a long time, so what was the big deal with the Cornell University reunion?

It used to be that the last college reunion most graduates attended was their 50th reunion. Then it got pushed out to their 60th. After that no one was left or physically able to attend. But today longevity has created a new milestone.

Think about this... for the first time in history there has been an 80th Class Reunion. Cornell University hosted it earlier this month. There are 30 members of the Class of 1931 still living and several showed up to celebrate!

Was it to show their loyalty and love for their alma mater? Absolutley! Was it to visit with classmates and relive the fun of a shared experience of a long time ago? Definitely! Was it because they were still vital and engaged in life? YES! These people had not retired from life, they had rewired (probably many times) and were physically showing it!

You should know that even though many were over the age of 100, they weren't all helped into their chairs. One 100+ year old got up and sang the school fight song to the sound of thunderous applause. Many of this class are still active and involved in life, and have gone through a succession of rewirings.The result is that it has kept them vital and engaged in life. They have also taken care of themselves physically and emotionally.

The Gerontology Research Group keeps track of aging and reports that the United States has over 100,000 people over the age of 100. This number is predicted to grow into the millions over the next 40 years. Will it be you or me who reaches 100? On some levels a scary thought,and yet what a tremendous opportunity to do more things and to have more experience than anyone could have ever imagined.

So when I hear people say---oh why try something new I'll never live long enough to become good at it, from now on I will always challenge that attitude. The truth is, you never know which one of us will live to be 100! So with that thought I have decided that I want my own bragging rights...I want to bop 'til I drop! I want to still be singing and dancing with my sorority sisters when we're 100. Why not? If Cornell can brag about their graduates, why can't you and I brag about our lives? So my directive to everyone is as NIKE says--GO FOR IT---you might be around for alot longer than you ever imagined!

Monday, June 20, 2011


Most people think of sports as a young person's game. Yesterday Rory McIlroy, a 22 year old from Northern Ireland won the U.S. Open Golf Tournament breaking several records along the way including being the youngest person to ever win the Open. And yesterday an 80 year old man was rehired to be the new interim manager of the Florida Marlins baseball team. Jack McKeon was brought back to the team to help them get back on a winning track. He retired 6 years ago as the Manager. He wasn't invited back because he is 80 years old, but because he was good at his job, having guided the Marlins to the 2003 World Series Championship and steering them through many winning seasons. He began his professional baseball career in 1949 at the age of 19.

Now the jokes begin. I heard one this morning on the IMUS Show: Sitting in the dugout one of the players calls Jack's name over and over to let him know the game has started. The implication is that at 80 he is worn out and taking a nap. But the joke is on the teller not on Jack. He's got the job, the pay, the excitement and celebrity that comes with the territory. Enthusiastic and energized, Jack is doing something he loves. He would feel that way if he was 25, 50, or 80.

While almost 60 years separates them in age, they have a lot in common--their drivers(no pun intended). Drivers are the emotional fulfillment individuals get from the activities they participate in at work and at play. My guess is that among Jack and Rory's drivers are to be competitive, to challenge themselves, and to constantly be improving their skills and techniques. I am sure there are a few others as well. Knowing your drivers keeps you in the game regardless of age. Do you know yours?

Jack is not the oldest manager in baseball history. That honor goes to
Connie Mack. He managed the Philadelphia Athletics up until age 87. I believe that Connie Mack's record will fall in the next 20 years when we get our first 90 year old manager. If you think it can't happen, think again!