In order to be 102, one must have been born in 1915.
I was and I am.
I have no recollection of being born. I guess memory fades as you age. However, my birth certificate confirms my age.
I was born at home, which was not unusual in those days. Who needs a hospital?
I really do not remember much of my early years. My mother told me that she took me to the World's Fair in San Francisco, just so I could say I was there. I have been to two other World's Fairs.
How is it that I have lived this long and still be in good health? My father died at 45, so I surely did not inherit his genes. My mother lived to be 93, but as I recall it she was always frail. When people ask me, how come I have lived to this age, which they frequently do, my standard answer is "clean living and hard work." Not sure that has anything to do with it, but it sounds good.
Being 102 means that you lived through the Great D
epression. We lived frugally and I got a paper route to help. One summer I worked at a nearby vegetable market, for a dollar a day. During my two hour lunch break I played tennis at Griffith Park. I don't think I ever had a new tennis ball. The depression affected all our actions. There were many programs trying to help the unemployed. It helped a lot, but I still remember times were hard.
I was accepted at Cal Tech and studied civil engineering. What a time for engineers! Some of the great structures were built in the depression years, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay Bridge and Hoover Dam. Our class visited these sites under construction.
Fast forward! I completed college, worked four years in engineering jobs, and then entered the Navy Civil Engineer Corp.
Then came World War II and I spent nearly four years as a prisoner of war in Japan. Stayed in the Navy for 22 years. Retired, came to Hanford and was Public Works Director and City Engineer until retiring at age 65.
I figured that I had another ten years to live. Now here it is 37 years later.
I really believe that I have lived to be 102 because I have kept busy. I have been on city committees for 18 years and on the Grand Jury five years. I started wood turning as a hobby 20 years ago and still turn bowls and vases now and then.
Fifteen years ago I had a heart attack and ended up with a quadruple bypass. Generally such operations add maybe five years to your life. For many years I had a semi-annual checkup with my heart doctor. Then three years ago he said "why not do this annually." Boy, that was a really good feeling. Now my eye doctor has changed me from semi-annual to annual! What next?