Pine Nuts with McAvoy Layne: Secrets to longevity | Carson City Nevada News

On November 30th, I will celebrate Mark Twain’s 187th birthday by observing some of the mysteries of his longevity, some of which we can share here.

“You cannot reach old age in another man’s way. My habits protect my life while they would murder you.

“As for drinking, I don’t have any drinking rules, if others are drinking I’m happy to help. I’ve found that a mugful of whiskey in the early evening is preventive of a toothache. I’ve never had a toothache, and I have no intention of having one.” to have.

“As for smoking, well I came into the world asking for lights and will probably blow smoke rings. But I smoke in moderation now. I never smoke more than one cigar at a time, never smoke while sleeping no more…never refrain while awake. That’s a good rule. It wouldn’t suffice for anyone trying to live to 187, but it answers for me.

“As far as training goes, I’ve never exercised and I don’t do it to intend to take any. Exercise is gross. I never saw any advantage in being weary. Whenever I feel the urge to move, I lie down somewhere until it passes. Oh, and never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow. No matter how old a man is, he can shorten it by several years by putting a brightly colored flower in his buttonhole.”

However, even more than celebrating Mark Twain’s birthday, I’ll be celebrating my lifelong friend Bonnie McLaverty’s 80th birthday, and she’s still very much alive, much like an uncorked bottle of champagne. I just wrote Bonnie a note, a note of appreciation for a life lesson I learned on a school bus ride with her so many years ago, well here’s the note.

Dear Bonnie,
I learned a life lesson riding the school bus with you to Del Rey Elementary School the morning after your father died. I wanted to say something comforting to you, but I couldn’t figure out what to say, so I didn’t say anything. All day and beyond I’ve been admonishing myself for not saying anything to acknowledge your grief. I swore to myself never to think about what to say again, but to step in and say something, anything, from the heart.

In fact, over the many years that followed, I found myself in exactly this position and stepped forward to offer my condolences without hesitation or even a moment’s thought on what I was going to say. Expanding on this thought, it would be safe to say that if we speak from the heart, we can never go wrong, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes a simple hug is enough.

So, Bonnie, if I didn’t say it that morning 68 years ago on our school bus ride down Valley View Drive toward Del Rey Elementary, please accept my belated condolences, for I truly did have great sympathy for you in the loss of your father .

your lifelong friend,

For more than 30 years, columnist and Chautauquan McAvoy Layne has dedicated more than 4,000 performances to preserving the wit and wisdom of The Wild Humorist of the Pacific Slope, Mark Twain. As Layne puts it, “It’s like being a Monday-Friday preacher whose preaching, while not reverentially devout, is fervently American.”

Head here to listen to this and other columns by McAvoy Layne.

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