The Answer Man

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Q: What is a centenarian?

A: It is a person who has doggedly held on to live 100 years or more.

There is a short AP story in the July 7, 2015 edition of the DDD about a centenarian who plans to enter the National Senior Games to be held in the Minneapolis area on July 15 of this year. Actually this fellow will be 102 years old in August. He plans to compete in the "100-plus age group."

You mean to tell us there is a such a thing as a "100-plus age group competing in athletics? The gathering of this clan must be one of the grandest sights in nature. Here we are some of us still considerably short of 100 (still close enough to be uncomfortable) but doddering to maintain dignity in such tepid games as golf or gin rummy; and there they are moving like a herd of turtles, but eager for action.

This particular fellow will be competing in discus, shot-put, javelin, and softball throw events. He says he can't do any running or jumping events because one of his legs gave out. Just one of his legs shot!! Amazing!! Many of us still short of being centenarian have a virtual catalog of body parts that are played out.

One interesting sight will be the Trail of Wrinkles as these fellows make their way into the Minneapolis area. Surely they wont hitchhike. Driving there will introduce danger not only for themselves, but for those innocents who happen to be in their paths. So they must fly with some young fellow at the controls.

Just one body part shot!! Amazing!!

Q: Are books, libraries, and newspapers, in trouble?

A: It seems to be one of the those bad news, good news, stories.

First of all, congratulations to Laura Ford for her excellent write-up covering the Kennett Library Book Groups discussion of Kate Anderson Browns' "The Residence." This was headed by Wanda McAnally who led the group in a lively discussion about the inside world of the White House where loyal servants faithfully do their jobs no matter the changing administrations.

No need to further review "The Residence," because Laura has already done this beautifully. She warmly describes the interaction of the book review group as they are surprised, or find some things comedic. More important is the attention she gives the Kennett Library, with the Book Review Group as a sort of standard bearer.

The Kennett Library is something the city should really be proud of. It far surpasses the branch libraries in big cities that often serve many more thousands of people. Libraries should be around as long as people have a curiosity and a place to satisfy that curiosity. They may have to make technological changes, but they will survive.

As for newspapers: It is interesting that Bert Roughton, Managing Editor of the Atlanta Journal /Constitution, was in Kennett over the 4th of July. Roughton has spent a long career in journalism. He readily admits that big city newspapers are in trouble because of advertising lost to the internet. He does, however, predict a bright future for small town papers because of their capacity to change, and comply to local demands. Some of his other observations on this were too professional to be understood in this quarter.

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