Daily Connector | Sarasota Sage Returns | Michele Dicke

Joe Newman was back in our news again.    (I hope you recall this gentleman I introduced you to last spring who, at age 107, drove a cherry red Mercedes convertible he purchased from his dentist.)  Celebrating his 108th birthday January 13, he was tracked down by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune staff for an interview regarding current events and history.  Newman participated in a video interview from the retirement home he shares with his 100-year-old partner, Anita.

Newman ran for Congress at age 101 against current Republican Representative Vern Buchanan.  The senior gentleman’s life has spanned two world wars, the Great Depression, the assassination of one president and the resignation of another – and now our current situation.  He feels history cannot go by and not record the fact that a president led an attempt to overthrow legal government.

Sharing a few interview tidbits:

“We have a way to overthrow a government; it’s called an election.”

Folks should view fraud claims without political labels.  He said evidence provided in court challenging the 2020 presidential election does not provide clear evidence who was stealing votes from whom.  “I get back to my point – history has to record that this event happened and how a democracy resolved it and continues to exist.”

Joe has skipped a few haircuts in the past year but says he is fortunate to be able to spend his time quarantined with Anita.  He said nobody wants to be alone during a pandemic. “Of course you are afraid.  At my age you’re maybe not much afraid because you figure you are old and it’s going to happen any day anyhow.”

“When you think about COVID, any kind of a virus or thing, it means can humanity adapt?”

Newman said his courage to get through the pandemic comes from others.  “I suppose your acceptance of COVID helps me to accept it,” he said.  “So we each have to help each other by accepting it and perhaps laugh at it if we can, or make it as easy to accept.”

Michele’s note:  The article defined Newman as a supercentenarian, which is a bit off the mark.  I verified the title goes to someone who has lived to the age of 110 years or more, something achieved by only one in a thousand centenarians.  A very small number of supercentenarians have lived to be 115.  Early uses of the word meant a person well over 100, but now it is just known as people who are 110 or older.  We will see if Joe keeps going into 2023 to achieve that title.