When I am 106 years old . . . - Printable Version

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When I am 106 years old . . . - gobaseline - 04-14-2007 07:40 PM

Spent Friday working the Geriatric set up in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

Friday, at Langlands on 9th Ave. in Oshtemo No and I attended the memorial for Clareance Schmidt born 12-21-1900.

Grand Pa for the gal pal of good Bronco college friends.

Clareance was a character and fully lucid. Buried his two wives and lone child (last March).

Drove from Florida to Michigan for a golf outing when he was 100.

When working in Indiana during the Bonnie and Clyde days, he was marshalled with a couple other "fellas" by the FBI with a horse and pistol to go in them there woods, and flush out Dillinger. The Feds were waiting on the other side in an open field. No luck. But one heck of of night at the local tap discussing the days events and spending a small portion of the $35 J Edgar gave each to mount up and play Dudley Dooright!

In 1917, though he wanted to enlist, the govt' turned him down to be a doughboy because he was working at a gov't plant as a tool and die apprentice on the gov't dole. "Better to us back home making good gun barrels!"

Clareance's secret to longevity? "Regardless of where you are, at 4:30 pm stop what you are doing and have a cocktail!" 05-stirthepot

Bottom's up and Cheers Clareance!

Later Friday had dinner with our middle one who is at Calvin and has befriended former President of Calvin William Sphoolhoff. A spring chicken at 97. Ate at Pietras(sp?) on 28th. A nice Italian spot.
Asked alot of questions re the school. He too is from NJ like me, taught History and Econ. like me too. Bored the girls with talk about the V-2, as he was stationed in London during the blitz working on intelligence with folks in the Low Countries across the channel. Was at Normandy 5 days after the landing making his reports and getting stuck in hedgerows.
Talked G.R Ford, former Bronco asst. and Calvin stalwart Doug Taateges,
how they bought and sold land to move Calvin in '51 to its current spot that was both a farm and golf course. Had $1 options on numerous traks of land that they did or didnt exercise, several on Burton Ave. near Breton.

If you get an opportunity to befriend someone who is elderly, do so. What a treat. A wealth of information. You could hear the "gears" kick in when asked questions and at times that type of interaction is what keeps them sharp. Don't let the wrinkles, age spots and unsteadiness under foot scare you off. They need us, and we sure in heck can benefit from them. 04-rock

- Whinny1 - 04-14-2007 08:23 PM

I'm elderly.

Just sayin'.


- MileHighBronco - 04-15-2007 11:24 AM

^ and still sharp as a tack.

My great uncle just recently passed on at 94. I got the opportunity about 6 years ago to sit down with him in his assisted living facility and really talk with him. What a treat.

He was with Patton during WWII and told me stories (which I got on video) about racing across France in his Sherman tank. I suspect that he had really never talked about these things with his own descendants, as he was hesitant at the beginning. Once I got him started, though, he was on a roll.

We also spent quite a bit of time talking about my mother, who died when I was 14. He watched her grow up as a young girl and had many stories about her and my grandparents. The reason for my visit was to interview him for a family oral history project I was working on.

- gobaseline - 04-15-2007 01:38 PM

Sharp as a tack but she seems to saying but not saying she has one foot in the grave.

MHB, maybe you and I should ask Whinney if she wants to do a video interview. I recall her commenting on feeding the horses who drew trolleys up and down the hills of East Campus. Maybe she knew Clareance?