Archive for Health

Jun
19

Spock Would Be Proud

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In the interest of full disclosure, I’m 51 years old.

I only tell you this because, when she was my age, Jeralean Talley was living in the year 1950.

And she continued to live, some 65 more years, until passing peacefully the other day in her home in Inkster.

Jeralean was 116 years, 25 days old when she slipped away, ending her two-month reign as the world’s oldest living person.

I wonder what it would have been like to be my age now, in 1950.

Harry S. Truman was president. Television was still a relatively new thing and lots of folks didn’t even own one. And if they did. it broadcast everything in beautiful, gorgeous, vivid…black and white.

The NHL had six teams. Major League Baseball had all of 16. The NFL was still finding its audience as teams were experimenting with something called the forward pass. The NBA was four years old.

The only phones we had were mounted on our kitchen walls. You had to actually read the hands of a clock or wristwatch to tell time. Shoes had laces, not Velcro.

If you wanted to know what was going on, you bought a newspaper. If you needed more, you bought a Late edition on the street.

Cars were as big as tanks and the only things that weren’t metal were the seats and the dashboard.

If you wanted to know how to get where you were going, you bought a map.

You didn’t send e-mails, you wrote letters. If you wanted to pay a bill, you licked a stamp.

We were just five years removed from the second World War and on our way into another conflict in Korea.

That’s just when Jeralean Talley was 51.

She graduated from high school during World War I. When she was old enough to vote, she couldn’t.

She saw the invention of the telephone, the airplane, radio, air conditioning, modern refrigeration and instant coffee.

For starters.


Jeralean Talley (1899-2015)


But Jeralean is gone now, and according to daughter Thelma Holloway, who’s a youngster at age 77, her mother “was ready to go home and rest.”

“She asked the Lord to take her peacefully, and he did,” Holloway told theDetroit News.


According to the News story, the California-based Gerontology Research Group, which keeps track of the world’s oldest people, declared Talley in early April to be the oldest human on the planet.

The previous record-holder, Arkansas resident Gertrude Weaver, died April 6 at 116 years old, according to the group.

Mrs. Talley is succeeded as the world’s oldest person by New Yorker Susannah Mushatt Jones, who turns 116 on July 6.

Jeralean Talley moved to Detroit from Georgia in 1935, right smack in the middle of the Great Depression. Her husband, Alfred, has been gone since 1988 after 52 years of marriage to Jeralean.

Jeralean was an avid bowler, continuing to roll games until she was 104. Her last game rolled produced an astounding score of 200.

Despite the number of people around the world who have lived well past their 100th birthday, there continues to not be any succinct reason why they were able to eclipse normal life expectancy by such a wide margin.

They all had their “secrets” to longevity, and some of those secrets wouldn’t necessarily lead you to believe that they would have anything to do with living past 50, let alone 100.

So maybe it’s just a crapshoot.

Regardless, it won’t be long before these centenarians no longer have 19th century dates on their birth certificates. To be born in 1899 and still be alive today is a marvel.

Jeralean Talley’s longtime friend and fellow churchgoer, Christonna Campbell, spoke for so many of those who knew Mrs. Talley.

“We just thought she was going to live forever,” Campbell said.

But didn’t she, in a way?

Categories : Health, society
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Jan
03

New Year’s Revolutions

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Happy New Year. Or happy new year, however you choose to look at it.

As I watched the big ball drop on Tuesday night in Times Square, I jokingly asked my daughter what life would be like if we did that for the change of every month instead of year.

“Three…two….one….HAPPY APRIL!”

Seems silly, of course.

But so does, when you think about it, going through all the expense and effort to mark the start of a new year. Or New Year.

It’s perhaps too cynical—even for me—to say that January 1 is “just another day,” but it truly is. It is different, however, in one respect: It’s the one day when no one has ditched their new year’s (or New Year’s) resolutions—yet.

Ahh, about those resolutions.

There’s a funny commercial playing on TV right now where a small boy calls it the New Year’s “revolutions.”

I kind of like that.

You do have to revolt, in a way, if you’re going to commit to doing something different from how you’ve been doing it, which is essentially what a resolution is.

The revolt is internal. A civil war going on inside your body and brain.

The little dudes inside your head have to declare that there is a revolution, and then they have to start symbolically dumping tea into the harbor, i.e. those bad ways you are trying to get rid of.

A new year’s revolution.

I don’t do resolutions—or revolutions—per se. I make mental notes to change and then hope for the best.

Not working out too good for me, but there you go.

I don’t do anything involving weight. I’d like to drop a few pounds, like anyone else. But I don’t do any numbers crunching or obsess with the scale in the basement. Notice I said basement.

I don’t resolve to change my eating habits, which goes along with the above. My wife is Italian and Polish. I get what I get, and I scarf it down happily. If I lose weight because of diet, it’s akin to finding a dollar bill in the laundry.

I don’t make any commitments professionally. I don’t set out to write X-number of blog posts or set any goals at work. That may sound lazy and uninspired and displays a shocking lack of motivation, but I figure, why set myself up for failure?

In short, my revolutions internally are weak and quickly squashed. I’m the Bay of Pigs of self-improvement.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be a success and that I don’t care about my body or that I have indifferent feelings toward my fellow man.

It just means that when all is said and done, the status quo is OK. I’ll continue to help out my wife around the house, put in my 40 hours at work and be as good of a dad as I can be. I’ll say my prayers at night and make it a point to perform a random act of kindness now and again.

Wherever that leads me, so be it.

Happy N(n)ew Y(y)ear!

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Jun
27

Water Boy

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It’s said that, ideally, you’d take your weight, cut it in half, and the resulting number is how many ounces of water you should drink per day.

I’m secure enough to tell you that my number is approximately 100.

I’m not afraid to indirectly tell you my weight, because for the past several months, water has been my beverage of choice, by far.

I have a 20-oz plastic tumbler that has been seemingly attached to my left hand with invisible string, always filled with ice and frequently being drained of its clear H20.

I like Aquafina when it comes to bottled water, but I can subsist on tap water, too. I don’t know how many times a day I am drawing more water into the tumbler from the refrigerator dispenser, but it’s enough to give my thumb a nice workout.

At work, we have an unending supply of bottled water (Ice Mountain, but it’s fine), and I kill about two of those 16.9-oz bottles per day. So that’s 34 ounces right there, plus all the tumblers during the evening. So I figure I’m pretty darn close to the magic number of 100 ounces, if not above it.

I used to be a pop drinker, as did my wife and daughter. We were always in search of the best deal on 12-pack cans of Coke or Pepsi products—at Meijer, Target, etc. Three for $12 was dismissed. Three for $11 was sometimes acceptable. But usually we would only purchase three for $9 or $10—and our loyalties went with Coke or Pepsi based on what was on sale.

But then the pop started going slower and slower as my water consumption increased. Before long I had the rest of the family on board with the whole water thing. Now, we only purchase two liter bottles of pop, and Towne Club at that. Why? Because we found them for 79 cents a bottle at a local market.

The 12-packs of pop in the basement fridge have been replaced by cases of Aquafina or Dasani. But I pretty much let the ladies have the bottles while I draw my tumblers from the fridge’s tap.

I love my water. An ice cold tumbler goes down so nice. I don’t miss pop. I have an occasional cola with some popcorn or pizza, but that’s it. I’m on my third tumbler of water as I write this blog entry.

Between the water consumption and the 2-3 walks per day of the family dog, I at least have the illusion that I’m doing something healthy for my body.

Late night snacking continues to be a problem, however. I wonder how many ounces of leftovers and salty snacks are appropriate for a 200-lb man? And, after midnight?

I have a feeling that number is way below 100.

Categories : Enotes, Health
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