Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Meet My New Role Model

An outstanding Metroplex-area citizen was profiled today in the papers and on the radio. His name is Jack Borden, he's a practicing attorney from Weatherford, and he was named "Outstanding Oldest Worker of 2009" by a nonprofit group that's dedicated to seniors in the workforce.

But the term "senior" means different things to different people. So just how old is Jack, anyway? Well, he's 101. And that's not a typo.

By the way, he barely came in under the wire for this award; you have to be 100 or older to qualify! (And the linked story points out that he's not even the oldest lawyer in Texas; there are three living members of the state bar who could rightfully call Borden a "kid.")

Check this guy out; he's amazing:
Borden reads without corrective eyewear and hears without an electronic aid. Though he needs a walker to get around, he regularly serves as a greeter at the First Baptist Church of Weatherford, about 30 miles west of Fort Worth.

He also co-hosts a local radio show on Parker County history.

Feeling, however, that he would be unfairly blamed if he were involved in an automobile accident, Borden has given up driving. Mostly.

"I still pick up my dry cleaning on Saturdays," he said.

He arrives at his office at 6:30 every morning and leaves a little after 6 p.m. In deference to a bout of pneumonia four years ago, he now takes a 45-minute nap just before noon.

Reluctantly bowing to prevailing standards, he comes to work on Fridays casually dressed.
Radio show? Casual Fridays? I want to be this guy when I grow up. (OK, I could do without the 6:30 office arrival, and I've never had much use for dry cleaning, but still, this sounds like a man after my own heart.)

I've made my own opinion on retirement known in an earlier post:
I think I've said this before, but, as a musician, I have no intention of ever fully retiring. I have older friends in their 70's (and beyond) who still gig regularly, and I've been blessed with the chance to perform with some amazing musicians (Clark Terry and Jimmy Heath) who were nearing 80 at the time. I've often joked that every musician's secret fantasy is to die on the bandstand, at a ripe old age and after a really good solo, and that's not too far from what I'd actually like to happen a long time from now. But in the meantime, this creative person sees no reason to stop creating just because the clock seems to tell other people to stop working.
While Borden may jokingly reply to those inquiring as to the secret of a long life ("Not dying," he says), he also waxes philosophical at the end of the article:
"I believe that God has something for us to do, and he wants me to work to do some good," he said.

Besides, Borden added, "If I quit, I'll die. I know people who retire and two years later, they're gone."
Ahh yes, the Bear Bryant Syndrome. It's named for the legendary Alabama (and Texas A&M before that) football coach who died within a few months of his retirement, and, as referenced here, it may be one of the reasons that Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno have continued coaching for as long as they have. But it sounds like Jack Borden still has an awful lot to offer his community, so I say keep going; you're an inspiration to us all.

(Be sure and check out the timeline at the end of the DMN story on Borden; the world was quite a different place in 1908.)

I asked this question in the earlier post, but it's been a year and a half, so I'll ask it again: Do you plan to retire at a specific age (and if so, what age is that?), or do you intend to keep going as long as you can? Your thoughts are always welcome in the comments.


Anonymous said...

Kev said...

Glad to see you blogging, Nate. I'll add you to my blogroll ASAP.