A Centenarian Among Us

Wed, November 14, 2018

How many Octogenarian’s ( ages 80-89 ) do you know?  How many Nonagenarians ( ages 90-99 ) walking amongst us do you know? Well, our resident Nonagenarian Leonard Johnson is about to graduate to the Age 100 Centenarian Club.   And to capitalize on the article written about Leonard in the E-Messenger two years ago when he reached the Young Old Age of 98, a follow-up article to examine his secrets to longevity would seem appropriate.

No secrets, Leonard said in the last article “Just keep busy” was his summary advice.  But to delve into the areas typically associated with reasons for longevity, we asked Leonard about:

Genetics: His parents lived into their 80’s & 90’s, as did his grandparents from Marshall, Tx.  He has one living sister aged 92.

Diet: Can eating your vegetables really make that much difference?  If you grew them yourself in your own garden and did all the labor, Yes says Leonard. Otherwise these days he eats pretty much whatever he wants.  He lists one Top Secret as two tablespoons of natural raw honey a day to sweeten his coffee.  The natural ingredients and bio-bacteria in bees honey are good for the digestive tract, and Leonard claims he doesn’t have any allergies. “ Bees are good doctors” Leonard says, and besides, “bees stay away from alcohol and don’t do drugs, and us humans should do likewise”.

Vocation / Schooling / Training: Common wisdom dictates that if your parents or the Army can’t teach you how to work, then become a politician and avoid work altogether. Leonard says he’s been working since he was 13 years old as a pickle-packer or  repackager where he took 55 gallon barrels of pickles and put them in smaller jars to sell on the shelf at the local grocery ( complete with labels).  This goes back to his original advice of “Stay busy, stay active”

Stress / Worry:  Leonard says to “Just Get R’ Done”, don’t waste time on worry and stress.  Attack your job, or your task, or your problem with a way to finish what you started and Get R Done.

Avoid Dangerous Hobbies:  Leonard says that when you are married and a parent ( or the owner of a company ) you can’t afford to be a mountain-climber or hang-glider, you have to get food on the table and keep a roof over your head.  He and his family had plenty of fun and action boating and fishing and no trips turned out to be terminal.

Fun / Faith / Frivolity:  Psychologists and Clergy agree that persons who stay plugged in at their Church or with their family or socially fare much better than those who don’t. Leonard has been a faithful mainstay around Friendswood Methodist and the Friendship Sunday School Class for years, and those of us who know and love him know he is fond of ballroom dancing.  As late as a few months ago he was still on the dance floor, but has had to take a hiatus to get some physical therapy on his knees when they don’t cooperate.  “All this hardware is still my original equipment” he says, and sometimes the muscles need strengthening, but he plans to be back on the dance floor hopefully after a couple more therapy sessions.  ( Wonder if God realized he was signing up for a 100 Year Warranty when he created Leonard).