Gena's Grandpa reflects on the last hundred years... By Gena Oppenheim (Writer)
On April 12th 1912, the day my grandfather was born, the Titanic was still blissfully on it’s way to New York, gas was seven cents a gallon and the Dodgers were the pride of Brooklyn. Today, at the age of 100, he lives a pretty active life in Florida (complete with daily trips to the best restaurant in town: the food counter at Kmart.) I recently called and asked him the secrets of living a full century:
GENA: Hi Grandpa! How’s it going?
HAROLD: Well I’m not dead yet if that’s what your asking.
GENA: No, um, I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?
HAROLD: You're like your mother. You'll do it regardless so why bother asking.
GENA: What’s the secret to your longievity?
HAROLD: Not dying.
GENA: Okay. What are some memories you have of New York when you were a kid?
HAROLD: It was better.
HAROLD: The mob ran things. They were very organized.
GENA: Did you meet any famous mobsters?
HAROLD: I gave a a medical examine to Rita Hayworth in Alaska when she came to our base with the USO.
GENA: Wow! What was she like?
HAROLD: Watch one of her movies if you want a play by play.
GENA: Um ok…what historical event stood out the most to you? The moon landing? D-Day?
HAROLD: Getting to examine Rita Hayworth in Alaska.
GENA: What about inventions? What was it like to see the radio turn into the TV turn into the internet?
HAROLD: I don’t know what they taught you in those facata schools of yours, but I’ll tell you one thing that I didn’t appreciate the invention of: long distance phone calls [hangs up.]
What I learned from my Grandpa about his 100 years on earth is that: To avoid death don't die and when life throws you lemons, try to find a way to interact with Rita Hayworth.
GENA OPPENHEIM Gena is a fourth generation New Yorker who teaches second-grade. She is a graduate of Barnard College and received her MFA from NYU Tisch's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. http://twitter.com/#!/genabeans