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101-year-old wonder
Harold Stilson

Page 2 staff

Harold Stilson has seen a lot in his 101 years. He's also shot an unreal six hole-in-ones in his golfing career, including one last week.

Harold Stilson
Page 2 figured we could learn a thing or two from this wise ol' fellow, so we asked Stilson 10 burning questions that others wouldn't dare to ask.

1. Page 2: Who's really the greatest athlete of the century?
Stilson: "I'm going to be very frank. I saw no other sports than golf. So, the only one I can talk about is Ben Hogan, who was the finest athlete in my mind. And now there's Tiger Woods."

1a. Say Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer and Tiger play a round, each one in their prime. Who wins?
Ben Hogan
Stilson would take Ben Hogan in a dream showdown with Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus.
Stilson: "When they were playing at their peak, Ben Hogan would have been the best. He would have been the best golfer had it not been for the accident. And he still won a U.S. Open after the accident."

1b. Ben would beat Tiger?
Stilson: "That would be a close match. Hogan was so accurate. Tiger is long off the tee."

2. What's the greatest development of the century?
Stilson: "Social security."

2a. You've certainly gotten you're share out of it.
Stilson: "Yes, I have."

3. What do you think of today's music?
Stilson: "I don't like it. I think it stinks. What I like is Dixieland. That's what I played in my youth. I played the saxophone and clarinet. (Begins singing an old tune) I like that. I like all the old ones."

4. Do you smoke?
Stilson: "Both my wife and I quit in 1952. I'd smoked for probably 30 years. Two or three packs a day. I used to put one in the ash tray and light up another one. Then I woke up one morning in bed, coughing and my tongue felt like it was on fire. So I laid back, put my cigarettes in my dresser drawer and closed the drawer, and I never smoked again."

Murder She Wrote
Forget "Survivor." Stilson would rather watch "Murder She Wrote."
4a. So, what do you like to eat?
Stilson: "One of my favorites is hot dogs, baked beans and sauerkraut."

5. Do you watch TV?
Stilson: "I watch TV, but I watch the old shows. I like 'Murder She Wrote.' "

5a. Did you watch "Survivor?"
Stilson: "No."

Maybe that's your secret to a long life.

6. Did you serve in World War I?

Stilson: "Yes. I was in a navy band. We went to France, we anchored outside, we went in to port, we waded through mud for about 10 minutes and then we went back onto the ship. And that's the most I saw of Europe."

7. If you could have a superpower what would it be, the strength of 100 men, the ability to fly or be able to turn invisible?
Stilson: "Hmmm. I don't think I would want any of them. I want to be myself."

8. What is the secret of long life?
Stilson: "I don't know. I've lived a nice life. I had a wonderful marriage. My wife and I were married 76 years. She died three years ago. ... If I had my druthers, I would say she was the best-looking woman of the century. I would say toe the line and live life as it comes out. Plus, my mother was 100 when she died, so it's in the genes."

9. What advice would you give to the younger generations?
Stilson: "The best advice, to me, is to make people smile. We have waiters and waitresses here in the home where I live and I always say to them, 'Let me see your teeth.' They do, and they smile and I smile back. That's my philosophy on life. Try to be friendly."

10. Would you like to live your life over again?
Stilson: "No, I certainly would not. I've had a wonderful life and don't regret one bit of it."

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