Welcome Bloggers to Live to 100 and Beyond

We invite you to celebrate your favorite centenarian by submitting photos and short stories or bios. Please email to adler@ncap100s.org.


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"People have been fascinated by longevity ever since learning of Ponce de Leon’s search in Florida, five centuries ago, for the fountain of youth. In the twentieth century, the search for longevity, and the good health that makes it possible, had been enhanced by discoveries such as antibiotics and other lifesaving drugs, heroic medical interven­tions, which included organ transplants, heart pacemakers and other life-prolonging devices, the emergence of preventive medicine, and a new focus on wellness. On an individual level, people were realizing that, to an ever-increasing extent, they were able to influence life-style factors that could lead to a healthier and longer life—perhaps even a life of 100 years or more." (Opening paragraph from "Centenarians, The Bonus Years," by Lynn Peters Adler, Health Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1995)

Longevity itself is one of the greatest advances of the 20th century, adding approximately 30 years to the average life span. Now, in the 21st century, with the advent of even greater medical advances and the promise shown by stem cell and genetic breakthroughs, the chances for an even greater increase in longevity seems possible.

Active centenarians are our role models. They are helping to redefine aging in new and inspirational ways.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mothers Come in All Varieties


Nita (left) and former daughter-in-law Nancy
When we think of mothers, we typically think of our biological mothers. But as we've seen over the years, centenarians are blessed with not only their own children who call them "Mom," but also extended family. 

Our feature today celebrates the many varieties of motherhood. The following is submitted by a former daughter-in-law, who has "adopted" her former mother-in-law and who treats her every bit as lovingly as if she were her biological mother. 

So whether it's a favorite aunt, older friend, stepmother, an "ex" mother in law, or your own "dear old Mom," Let us celebrate them all!
 
Contributed by Nancy Redpath

Juanita Bess Redpath was born in Springfield, Illinois, on December 30, 1911. Her nickname is Nita, and her dad named her for a song he loved, "When Nita Bess First Whispered Yes." Nita is the fourth of six children and the only survivor. She has many memories of her long and eventful life. Most likely the highlight was when their family moved from Illinois to California in a Model T Ford in the summer of 1920, all eight of them and all their possessions in that tiny car. She was then nine years old and her siblings ranged from one to 14. They all agreed it was one of the best times of their lives, but I'm not sure their parents would agree. They were lucky to make 100 miles per day and set up a big canvas tent and cook stove every night. They joined family who had preceded them to Southern California and some of the kids were parceled out to aunts and uncles homes or lived in the tent until they could build a house.  

Nita went to school only through the 8th grade, but has never lost her interest in learning. She was always a reader and loved the library. After she was married she was never found without her binoculars, bird books, flower books and tour guides. Nita's many interests include reading, dancing, sewing and gardening. She also loved to entertain and they had many family gatherings in their home.

Nita met her first husband at an open-air dance hall with a marble floor when she was barely 16 and married that same year. Their first son was born when Nita was 17 and she had another son and daughter from this marriage. She married her second husband right after the war and they had a son together. Her four children's ages are evenly spaced over 18 years and two sons and a daughter are still living.

Nita's lifetime has spanned horse-and-buggy days and space travel, ice deliveries by wagon to the age of electronics, cod-liver-oil treatments to heart transplants. And she always says, "It's been a wonderful life."

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ABC Barbara Walters Special - Aging & Longevity

The ABC Barbara Walters Special on longevity aired in April of 2008. I was asked two years ago to participate in this project and it was a wonderful, exhilarating experience. It was both an honor and a privilege to work with Ms. Walters and the talented and caring team of professionals on her staff. I invite you to read the "Behind the Scene" story on our website. Here's the link: http://www.adlercentenarians.org/ABCWalters_special.htm
Posts & comments about the special and the participating centenarians follow. Please scroll down.