His nearest rivals for the title are thought to be Australia's Ken Sillcock (97) and Britain's Henry Jackson (95).
"I decided to come back because I've lived long enough to set one record and the Gazette has been in print long enough to set another," he says. "You see, not only is the Gazette an old paper, it's the oldest continuously-published weekly newspaper in all of California. On Jan. 20, 2004 it turned 150 years old, having never missed an issue."
"Some people say I have a lot of energy for a 100-year-old man. They may be right. I'm not only going to write new columns, but I'm still doing other writing, including a book titled "The Wit and Wisdom of Frank Pelatowski," which will be in bookstores later this year."
Frank was born in Massachusetts on Aug. 10, 1907, when Theodore Roosevelt was his nation's president. His parents were Polish immigrants. He grew up in Connecticut, with 10 brothers and sisters.
In 1923, after leaving High School at 16, he joined the U.S. Navy -- so young that he needed a note from his parents. He served on the then new battleship USS West Virginia, cruising down the Atlantic coast, through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific Ocean to Australia and New Zealand.
Nearly 20 years later, in World War II, the Navy recalled him to serve a second term, as a chief petty officer.
Here are extracts from Frank's Web site:
I've been married twice, both wives died while married to me. I have no children, but consider many children to be like grandchildren to me.
Frank's first column written after he turned 100 was titled World's oldest column returns to the Gazette.
His second column was a nostalgic story about his Navy days, called Rollin' in my sweet hammock's arms.
Frank has also made a YouTube video that's well worth checking out here.
He says he likes writing stories with happy endings.
FOOTNOTES. Merced (population 210,554) is a county in California's Central Valley, north of Fresno and and southeast of San Jose. Mariposa (population 1,373) is the county seat (administrative center) of Mariposa County. Its name is the Spanish word for 'butterfly', after early explorers saw flocks of Monarch butterflies there. Mariposa and Merced, 40 miles apart, both call themselves 'The Gateway to Yosemite.' Mariposa being 30 miles from the national park.
The passenger liner SS (Steam Ship) Mariposa maintained a regular service linking the US west coast with Australia and New Zealand before WWII, when she became a US Navy transport troopship.
2008/04/23 오전 10:57
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