News-Sun by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Pern Hunter celebrated his 106th birthday Friday. Teddy Roosevelt was president the year he was born. Oklahoma became the 46th state.
published: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Hunter's secret to making it to 106? 'Good-looking women'
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- One gets the feeling Pern Hunter was a bit of a rascal when he was young. Asked the secret of living to celebrate his 106th birthday he said, "Good-looking women."
On the other hand, he was married to one woman for 74 years. They met when he worked on the street where she lived. He whistled at her whenever she walked by and "it just kind of developed," Hunter said, adding they never had children. "I was too ornery to have kids."
His wife is buried in a nearby mausoleum. Hunter says he looks forward to lying beside her again.
In the meantime, he spends time sitting in his wheel chair, basking in the sun. Surrounded by people at the Royal Care assisted living center, he is alert and enjoys reminiscing. Although his sight is fading, when he smiles, his eyes twinkle.
Born in 1907, Hunter grew up in Missouri. His first clear memory is delivering newspapers during Word War I while in elementary school. He worked after classes and on the weekends, saving $500 in three or four years. He put all his money in the bank and learned an early lesson.
"The bank went broke and I lost all my money," he said.
His parents relocated the family to Vancouver, Wash., where Hunter worked at a variety of occupations -- from a job in a shipyard to making work boots. Economic times were rough; jobs were hard to come by and keep.
What he wanted to do most, Hunter said, was to work on trains. He applied for a job, making the waiting list.
It took almost two years, but he got a job as a helper for the railroad. He made 26 cents an hour. A year later, promoted to a supervisory position, he was given a raise to 27 cents.
He retired from the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railroad 30 years later.
Hunter worked on locomotives, starting with steam engines. He eventually specialized in diesel repair, even though in the beginning his friends told him he was crazy to volunteer. "Diesels are just a fad," he said he was told. "You'll be out of a job."
Hunter went on to retire and live on, while the SP&S is no more. Burlington Northern Railroad took it over years ago.
When asked how he got to Avon Park from the state of Washington, he said, "I drove a car and pulled a trailer."
As to life's lessons advice, Hunter warned, "You see everything in the world that you want to see; and nothing that you should see."
He added, "the most important choice you'll make in life is picking a wife, like picking the kind of gal who can get a job and says, 'We'll get by.'"
bAdLeY bEnT (by: Beautiful women - 4/2/2013)
werks fer me.
Thank you. (by: Blindman~ - 3/31/2013)
Thank you for your story and tips I will be keeping in mind for later... wishing you well Mr. Hunter
Pern (by: o'Henry - 3/31/2013)
Pern has(had) a son and a grandson
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