Tuesday, August 14, 2007


FROM SECOND TO FIRST. Until a woman from Japan died on Monday, Edna Parker of Shelbyville, Indiana, had been the second oldest person in the world. Now, according the folks who maintain the Guinness Book of World Records, Edna has the distinction of being the oldest person on the planet at 114 years.

In the photo, Edna is shown with Sandy Allen, the world's tallest woman (7'7"), who also lives in Shelbyville, Indiana.

MORGAN COUNTY BRED. Edna was born on April 20, 1893 in Morgan County. According to the WRTV story, she lives at the Heritage House Convalescent Center in Shelbyville, just a few miles southeast of Indianapolis. She was born in Morgan County, grew up on a farm, graduated from Franklin College, taught school, married, and served on her family farm. She's five feet tall, weighs 70 pounds, and is completely mobile.

IF I LIVE TO BE 114. So our youngest son, Sam, is 14; Edna is 100 years older than Sam. Edna was well into retirement by the time I was born. If I live to be 114 years old, that will be 2073. That's 66 years from now! Will Social Security, my pension, and those retirement accounts hold out? I'd better re-figure! And what breakthroughs will change lifestyles and patterns of living over the next 66 years? I can't wait to see!

THE SECRET? I imagine Edna's about to be inundated with unsought-for attention. What's the secret, Edna? Is it Indiana? Is it faith? Is it luck? Did you take risks or avoid them? Did you plan this or just happen on to it? Did you smoke, drink alcohol, gamble, or avoid such vices? How'd you do it? What do you recommend? What wisdom can you impart to the rest of us? And I can imagine Edna doesn't have time for such foolishness. She's satisfied with living the life she's been given to live...one day at a time.

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