The 100 / #83: Frank Lowe

#83 Frank Lowe Fayetteville, NY, USA

About Frank

What one thing are you most proud of in your 83 years so far?
I am most proud of my time in service for my country, my faith, my family, and all those I love. I wouldn’t attempt to pick out one thing.

What one thing do you hope to do before you’re 100 years old?
What do they call that? A bucket list? My problem is I’ve done almost everything I’ve wanted to do. But one thing I hope to do is to become more mature in my faith while continuing to have fun. What’s sad is, I meet people up here in upstate New York who’ve never seen the ocean. I think, “That’s a tragedy.” I tell them to get their asses in the car and go look at it.

What do you feel is the most significant thing that has changed in the world during your lifetime?
I’d say communication. Samuel Morse, when he invented the telegraph, said “What hath God wrought?” I’ve seen the telephone change from a 20 pound giant instrument to a feather-light device that permits people to communicate 24/7. I use Skype to see and talk to my grandkids in Virginia all the time, which is great. But I’ve also seen parents with their kids in the park on a beautiful day spending their entire time talking on their cell phone, never hearing the sound of their kids squealing or the birds singing. All these great advances, sometimes you wonder, is life really any better?

What one piece of advice would you give your 10 year old self?
“Study harder.” I learned how to read before I hit school. I was reading “A Tale of Two Cities” and everyone else was reading “Run, Spot, Run” type books, and I was bored. That was the schooling then, so what were they gonna do with me? I didn’t develop the kind of work habits that I should have, so I am not sure I did the very best I could with my life. But on the other hand I’m in no way dissatisfied with my life.

Tell us about your Father (by Laura):
My father Francis Guy Lowe is a salty Brooklyn native who relocated to central New York in the 70′s. He raised me when my mother stepped out of my life when I was very small. He is in sales, traveling around the region to meet with manufacturers and retailers, climb ladders to restock Home Depot shelves, and to deliver donuts to his best clients. He’s been almost fired because of his age many, many times, but his sales record speaks for itself and he fights back every time. He goes to the YMCA to work out every day, and will tell anyone who will listen how dangerous it is for him to workout next to college girls–he tries to impress them beyond his 83 year-old body’s limits. He decorates his house for every major and minor holiday, and invents holidays in between, so his house is always kind of a spectacle. He visits the same small-town diner every day to hold court with his friends and fellow regulars. They start his order of a burnt English muffin with two grape jellies the minute they see him come through the door.

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