Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Two More Stories

Having been out of town off and on for weeks, I'm only now catching up on my reading. Here are two pieces I just came across:

From the November 2, 2007 edition of The Week:

In China's Zhejiang province, a 106-year-old man has married an 81 year-old woman. [See photo above.] The groom, Pan Xiting, and the bride, Chen Adi, met eight years ago after their respective spouses died....

"Now we are a family," Pan declared, "and we will never separate from each other till death."

The second is by Clyde Haberman (The New York Times 11/6/07). It's about a 103- year old Holocaust survivor named Alice Herz-Sommer who still finds joy playing the piano:

...A couple of immobile fingers are not about to keep [Ms. Herz-Sommer] from her daily routine of two and a half hours at the piano, starting off with a Bach prelude.

"I play with eight fingers," Ms. Herz-Sommer said by phone from her apartment in London. "I change the fingering. But I manage. When you want something very, very , very much, you are able to do it. You have to be strong-willed, ja?"

As the "ja" suggests, her English bears hints of German, the language she spoke at home while growing up in Prague a century ago. But her voice bears only strength, without a quaver to suggest this is a woman who will turn 104 in three weeks....

And of course she remembers the music. "Especially Beethoven," she said. "He's a miracle. Beethoven is my religion. I am Jewish, with Beethoven as religion. Beethoven is a fighter. He gives me the faith to live and to say to me: Life is wonderful and worthwhile, even when it is difficult."

For the full text of the above article, click here.

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