Still Writing Column at 104

Margaret Caldwell is a columnist for the Desert Valley Times, Mesquite NV, a Gannett, publication. She celebrated her 104th birthday on February 1st and is believed by many to be the world’s oldest living columnist.

Often we associate old age with loss of health and vitality, but Margaret says she is feeling well in spite of getting older. Although walking is difficult for her, she still enjoys reading, conversation and laughter, and an occasional buffet at the local casino.

David Bly, editor and general manager of the Desert Valley Times, interviewed Margaret when she became a centenarian. He was so impressed by her wit and sharpness that he asked her to write a weekly column.

Margaret also wrote for the Chicago Tribune during World War II as Administrator for Women’s Activities Civil Defense. She has a novel called “Born to the Sun” published by Warner Books and is seeking publication for another novel that she has written.

Margaret’s columns cover a wide variety of subjects. She writes about her life experiences and her thoughts on what is going on right now. She has had a long life and met a lot of people, many of them famous. Margaret amazes everyone who meets her, with her sense of humor and fabulous abilitiy for story-telling.

In 2009, the Nevada Press Association gave her a special award as the world’s oldest newspaper columnist. In 2010, she won a second place press award for her column writing.

The secrets to longevity are not really as elusive as some would think. First of all, you must have a genetic tendency and come from a family where people tend to live long lives. After that, it is simply a matter of doing the things that we all know we are suppose to be doing anyhow, such as, getting enough sleep, eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet, and doing exercise.

Centenarians, as a group, seem to be people that have lived active lives and managed to avoid the cancer, diabetes, heart disease and accidents that kill people at an early age. Often they are still working and never retired.

With advancements in medicine and health, there is little question as to whether a person can live to be 100 or even older. Currently there are 90,000 people in the U.S. who are 100 or over.

Who knows, the next 100 year old columnist might be you or me.

Story suggested by Eric Shackle (retired journo, Sydney, Australia)

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