Sunday, September 15, 2013

The secret to a long life

This morning’s Arizona Republic (citing an Associated Press article) reported that the world’s oldest man, 112 year old Salustino Sanchez-Blazquez, died on Friday of this week (Friday the 13th) in Grand Island, New York. Like most of the folks who have lived well beyond 100, Mr. Sanchez-Blazquez did not live an easy life. In his teens, he worked in the Kentucky coal mines, and he later worked in construction and in the industrial furnaces near the Niagara Falls area.

After his wife died, he lived with his daughter until he was 106 years old, at which point he moved into a nursing home. He attributed his longevity to the fact that he ate one banana every day, in addition to six Anacin tablets. His daughter believes the REAL reason he lived as long as he did was that he was an independent, stubborn man.

It is estimated that 30% of America's population accepts the words of the Bible literally. For those folks, the world’s oldest humans were Adam (930 years old) , Noah (950 years old) and Methuselah (969 years old). The specific references to these dates can be found in Genesis 5:4, Geneses 9:29, and Genesis 5:27. After these early humans, the maximum life span shortened considerably at some point in time, and is recorded in the Bible as being 120 years (Genesis 6:3).

For those of us who require factual proof of longevity, the world’s oldest human was a French woman named Jeanne Galmert, who lived to be more than 122 years old. She smoked from the time she was 21 until she was 117, she was a regular consumer of port wine, and she ate roughly 2 pounds of chocolate every week. In her own opinion, she attributes her longevity to olive oil, which she poured liberally on most of the food that she ate, and she also rubbed it into her skin.

Jeanne Calmert is an exception to the general rule that most people who have lived a long time have endured difficult lives, since the majority of them have had some ties to slavery.

Although Ms. Calmert was not particularly athletic, she DID take up fencing when she was 85 years old, and she rode her bicycle until she was 100. In the final analysis, though, it appears that she DID discover the way to have a long life - smoke, drink, and eat chocolate.

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