Saturday, February 28, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 6. Luc

Luc is 90.  He came to the USA from Quebec when he was a 22-year old carpenter.
In the following decades he grew a homebuilding company that built many houses and condominiums in Michigan and the east coast of Florida.

Today Luc plays golf three days a week and until recently could "shoot his age," i.e., when he was 89 he could score 89.  (Wow!)  Two days a week, Luc volunteers his time in East Naples
with Habitat for Humanity.  He hangs the kitchen cabinets.

Habitat for Humanity in Collier County has built more than 1700 homes for working poor residents since it was founded in 1978.  Homeowners must invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” building homes. They make a $1,000 down payment and a $500 insurance deposit. Homes are sold at cost with a no-interest loan. Mortgage payments are used to purchase land and materials for more homes.

The Collier County chapter is one of the biggest and most successful Habitat chapters in the country.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 5. Mark

Mark is a World War II veteran who served on a Navy battleship in the Pacific from 1946 to 1950.
He moved to Naples a few years ago to take care of his sister after she had a minor stroke.

Mark likes to walk from his sister's house to the end of the Naples Pier and back.
He does it three times a day, a total of six miles,  talking with people he meets along the way.
At 85, Mark is physically fit, mentally sharp, sociable and happy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 4. John and Lanie

John and Lanie were professors of astronomy at the University of Illinois.  After retiring, they moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they are adjunct professors at the University of New Mexico.

Lanie (77) is a competitive ice dancer and competes three times a year.  John (76) is chairman of the energy committee of the Isaak Walton League, a national environmental group that held a meeting
in Naples.  While here, they went birding in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

They are standing in front of the new 7' by 14' mural in the visitors center.
The artist is Tom Heflin, from Illinois.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 3. 5th Avenue

5th Avenue is a barbershop quartet that has entertained audiences in southwest Florida
for more than ten years.  They are affiliated with The Paradise Coastmen Chorus,
a men's a capella chorus happily singing their hearts out since 1974.

Each member of 5th Avenue is a retired man in his 70s, including
a former manufacturer and two insurance agents.
Dave Eastlake, Tenor; Gray Poehler, Lead; Bill Countie, Bass and Richard Klym, Baritone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 2. Ellie and Ben

So, if you have had successful careers as an estate planning lawyer and as an orthopedic surgeon,
what is your encore when you retire to southwest Florida?


Ben (74) and Ellie (73) give tours of Naples' best places for chocolate on Fifth Avenue South.
Naples Chocolate Stroll offers popular walking tours three days a week in season.
A two-hour option includes visits to eight food boutiques with good chocolate offerings
. . .  fudge, chocolate gelato, chocolate mint tea, truffles, toll house cookies, etc.  A slightly
longer stroll includes stops at five art galleries, where wine and chocolate are served.

Can you think of a better way to spend your retirement years?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Age is No Barrier Week: 1. Carl

Back in Ohio, Carl (72) ran the five mile Thanksgiving "turkey trot" for the last 26 consecutive years.
He sold his automotive parts company a few years ago and now lives year-round in Fort Myers.

On Saturday, Carl ran his fourth Festival of Light 5K.  He planned to take it easy and just focus on finishing.  This weekend Carl flies to Utah for a week of skiing.  He also likes barefoot waterskiing.

Admittedly, this is not the best photo, but this is 72-year old Richard Schmidt, a retired doctor and active pilot, who was the fastest finisher in the 70 - 74 category, with the impressive time
of 26:47, or eight-and-a-half minutes per mile.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Edison Festival of Light 5K

The annual Edison Festival of Light 5K race was run yesterday along the riverfront in Fort Myers.

Number 1 led from the start.
Update:  Thanks to John (below) and the local newspaper, the winner was 
Eliud Ngetich from Kenya, whose time was a fraction of a second under 14 minutes.)

Don't ever try to outsprint a kid approaching the finish line.

You've gotta admire determination.

Many runners wear costumes.  No, I don't know why.

And the people in the crowd can be interesting.  And cute.