Good to Know

August 23, 2006

Of course, I never want to become blind, deaf and wheelchair-bound all at once. But it’s good to know we Puerto Ricans boast some of the longest life spans on earth.

According to this Associated Press report, Puerto Rican Emiliano Mercado del Toro, who was declared by the Guiness Book of World Records last year the oldest person alive, just celebrated his 115th birthday. He is the second Puerto Rican to hold the title.

His secret? No booze and a healthy diet. Oh, and good genes to save him from almost eight decades of smoking.

“I never damaged my body with liquor,” said Mercado, who quit a 76-year smoking habit when he was 90.

Another detail — or lack thereof — that struck me was whether he had the stress of any children. Surely that would contribute to the longetivity. Of course, he could have outlived them!