The term “Super Ager” refers to people over 80 whose cognitive function compares to that of an average middle-ager.
But, to me, super aging means so much more. It also emcompasses both physical and social acuity and a genuine joy in living. I met many people who exhibit these qualities, but none more than my friend and tennis partner of 30 years, Garry Schwalbach.
Born in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, the son of a grocer, Garry graduated from Covington Latin School at 16 and began a 64-year career selling Cadillacs. He has earned the distinction of being named the No. 1 salesperson in the country three times. To keep his mind active, he still works from 1 until 8 p.m. at the dealership and, on weekends, he checks and does repairs on his 70 rental units.
His passion, however, is sports, including racquetball, softball, volleyball and tennis. His over-65 softball team, appropriately named “Yesterday’s Kids”, meets twice a week and has won the playoff championship twice, most recently in 2020. Garry, who is two decades older than many of his teammates, gets drafted every year as the starting second baseman.
While wintering in Florida, he plays tennis every day. Since most of his tennis buddies have retired from the game, Garry plays tennis with the Ladies of Beachplace and a younger group of gentlemen at the Sanctuary Club.
Garry and I hope to compete in the USTA mixed doubles over-80 tournament as soon as the Covid restrictions are lifted.
Once, when asked by a Medicare representative if he walked with a cane, Garry, who at 85-years old does 50 pushups each morning, replied, “No, I slide into third base.”
With his attitude alone, this “Super Ager” will remain forever Yesterday’s Kid.
8 thoughts on “Yesterday’s Kids (A guest post by Peggy Kostelnik)”
Peggy, I know how old you are, but you will be forever young at heart. You take life by the horns and enjoy the ride. I am so glad to be able to call you friend, even though I could never keep up with your very active life style. Look forward to lunch and swimming at Plamman Park this summer. Enjoy your stay in Florida. Linda V.
Loved this article!
Laura, as you know, even though we haven’t met in person, we have been friends several years and I look forward to your columns. I have admired your mom from afar too since you have included her in several of your posts. Now, I love Garry too! LOVED his answer to the cane question to Medicare rep. We re-did our Medicare supplement last month (saving us almost $70 each by changing companies!) and when the cane question was asked, I said “NO I don’t use a cane!! I walk a minimum of 10 thousand steps a day and a cane would get in my way!” WHY do they assume that people over 65 ALL walk with canes?!?!?! (I also hate the, “Have you fallen recently?” question when I go to the doctor each year for a physical.) AND last year, Medicare refused to pay for my yearly bloodwork since there was nothing wrong with me at the time of my physical!! See what Peggy and Garry think of that!!! LOL Carlotta AKA Lotta Sports
You’re going to be a super ager for sure!
Been playing tennis with Gary in longboat key for the 15 years we have been here. He is a great player a good supporter of his partner (and sometimes his opponent too)
And an all around nice guy.
What a great feature, this is awesome! Your Texas friend from Cuba!
John! My mom and I were just talking about you guys and that trip. Great to hear from you!
I follow you, Alex Goldfarb and his son came to Texas to hunt deer last fall, he and I have stayed in touch since the trip. He was from New York, wife Kim is lovely, who would have thought a Texas guy and and Wall Street guy would have common ground.