Cheerful and upbeat Dick Betchley could give the keynote address for the Centenarian Class of 2020. In his own words:
My life has been blessed by having the guidance of my mother, a surgical nurse, who was an example of living the Golden Rule.
My eighth-grade counselor advised me to always set a plan and a target. My first target was to change from going to the local high school and go to a technical high school (an hour train ride each way), where I took a course in structural engineering. Planning ahead and setting a target has been a life practice for me. Life doesn’t always give us what we want, but I had an angel on my shoulder that told me, “Don’t give up; there is an alternative.” And there always was.
When I applied to West Point and passed the test, I was disappointed when I had to have a U.S. Senator or Representative’s recommendation. But my “angel” found an alternative: I applied to the Army Air Force to become an Aviation Cadet. I was accepted.
Incidentally, my high school engineering led to a professional engineering license and later I worked in an engineering company for 33 years.
Having a good spouse is very important to having a long life; stress can be such a big factor in shortening your life. My wife and I were married 72 very happy years before she died.
I believe in having a positive attitude with “I can do it” thoughts. Remember, your brain controls your body.
My recommendation to today’s youth who want to live a long life: Appreciate each day by thinking, “Today I will see if I can help someone and enjoy myself.”