July 6th, 2010 at 05:59pm
It’s interesting to me that almost everyone who lives to a really old age or keeps working until a really old age seems to have something to which they credit their longevity, and almost without fail it is something which you couldn’t imagine a scientist saying in a thousand years.
Last week, one such story crossed my desk:
REDLANDS, Calif. — It wasn’t snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night that stopped Chester Arthur Reed from his appointed round. The mail handler just felt it was time to call it quits at age 95.
The fork lift operator retired Wednesday as the nation’s oldest postal worker, ending a career without taking a single sick day. It’s a feat he attributes to a healthy diet of watermelon, alkaline water and an onion sandwich with mayo every day.
“If everyone in the nation ate watermelons, they’d get rid of all the doctors,” Reed said.
Despite being partially deaf and walking with a stoop, Reed has worked for more years than many of his co-workers have been alive and has accrued 3,856 hours — nearly two years — of sick leave for not missing a shift in 37 years.
His military service, which included physical conditioning with pilots, is evident in the rigid discipline surrounding his health. It’s his favorite topic of conversation, said Reed’s co-worker Verna Ortiz, 50.
He believes in drinking alkaline water, to minimize acids that can damage digestive system, and eating sandwiches made “with a lot of mayonnaise and get a big slice of onion” because the vegetable is closely related to garlic, one of the healthiest foods you can eat, he said.
“He taught me to stay away from the two S’s: salt and sugar,” Ortiz said, adding she lost 10 pounds in six months by taking his advice.
In truth, I think that staying at work helps a lot of people to reach an old age happily and healthily simply by keeping active. Their eating habits certainly help, but I think an active mind has a lot more to do with it than we might realise.