100 Years Equals a Century

October 23

Aging can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it. ~ Clint Eastwood, age 91

Wrinkles only show where smiles have been. ~ Mark Twain, ageless

Merill is the one remaining parental unit of the four guys who hung out together during our Alexandria school years. His life story is told herein by his family. Through the years we have had a lot of fun with him – the four of us usually get together with him on his continuing run of birthdays. His next goal is 110 . . .

Get the damn vaccine! ~ Me, age 74

[As a result of a misunderstanding occasioned regularly by our forgetfulness of detail, we appeared an hour early for the birthday party. We were told to just go take a ride. So, Ruthie, Bradley, and I hied out to Theatre L’Homme Dieu to check on the goings-on there. In less than 2 weeks many trees (many dead or dying) have been felled to make way for the future . . . ]

[Then we drove north on Co. Rd. 11, which was absolutely flush with color. The narrow tree lined road made stopping for photos difficult. We continued on to Co. Rd. 5, turned west to Co. Rd. 34 where we headed south toward town, past the winery where an Oktobest Festival was in full swing, and then as we approached the Lakes Darling and Carlos bridge, we came across the red maple driveway we’ve been waiting to burst out . . . ]

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize. ~ George Eliot

The story of Merill . . .

[At Big Daddy’s party venue, classmate Brad is on the left, while Ruthie visits with Merill and his oldest son, Jerry (Alex class of ’63) . . . ]

[Classmate Tom (Merill’s younger son), with his sons Thomas, on the left, and Steven . . . ]

The Boys of the Class of ’65 then . . .

And now (well, 6 years ago) . . .

[Meanwhile, back at the party site guests are beginning to file in . . . ]

[The buffet table – the posters on the wall appear toward the bottom of this missive . . . ]

[Class of ’65er Mayo arrives and shakes hands with Tom’s son Steven . . . ]

Ruthie, you moved . . .

That’s better!

[Well, if I temporarily have to give up my throne, I will do it for Merill . . . ]

The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright, ageless

[The King for a Century on his throne . . . ]

[Long live the king!]

[Son Tom reads a congratulatory letter to Merill from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz . . . ]

[Eldest son Jerry reads a proclamation from Alexandria Mayor Bobbie Osterberg naming November 2 officially Merill Kiehne Day . . . ]

Aging seems to be the only available way to live a long life. ~ Kitty O’Neill Collins, age 121(?)

What has happened in Merill’s lifetime (compiled by spouses Pam and Tom) . . .

Pizza is going to support a whole generation of cardiologists! ~ Dr. Leila Denmark, age 114

I try not to make a big fuss over things. I always said, ‘This too shall pass.’ ~ Barbara Brody, age102

You have to be lucky, but I made the best of things when bad things happened. I also ate prunes every single day. ~ Morris Lensky, age 101

If it can be fixed, fix it! ~ Anne Lomedico, age 104

Sleep well and have a Bailey’s Irish Cream before bed if you have a cold. ~ Helen Mulligan, age 101

It is very important to have a widespread curiosity about life. ~ Irving Kahn, 106

Do not grow old no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born. ~ Albert Einstein, ageless

One of the few advantages to not being beautiful is that one usually gets better-looking as one gets older. I am, in fact, at this very moment gaining my looks. ~ Nora Ephron, ageless

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? ~ Satchel Paige, ageless

You show me anyone who’s lived to over seventy and you show me a fighter—someone who’s got the will to live. ~ Agatha Christie, ageless (Editor’s note: But in my case, I can only blame pure dumb luck.)

The best part of the art of living is to know how to grow old gracefully. ~ Eric Hoffer, ageless

One, you gotta have good genes; two, you gotta be god damned lucky for 100 years. And three: Try not to eat anything that’s healthy. It’s true. I eat whatever I want. The secret to longevity is ice cream. ~ Paul Marcus, age 103

Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been. ~ David Bowie, age 74

WTF? ~ Me, age, same as Bowie

Up Next: The Boys of ’65 and attendant coterie will party up next weekend . . .

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