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Published:January 17th, 2013 10:27 EST

"gOLD" Nuggets - Fred Kasica On Health & Wellness: Secret to Success Humor!

By Harry J. Getzov

Fred Kasica - 77 (Easthampton, MA)

fred_kasica_1 "I got into a lot of mischief."

I`m proud of the way I lived. I just take things as they roll along and, to me, I just appreciate even getting to live until 77, considering the way I lived. Whoa! The son-of-a-bitchin` things that I did when I was younger. . . . Christ, I could float a battleship; I drank with boat hands. Got into a lot of trouble back then.

You were in the Navy?

How`d you know that?

You just mentioned boat hands, so . . .

With both hands! What the f...?! With both hands, Harry! You had to get the elbows up so you didn`t get calluses on one elbow only; you got `em on both.  But I mean, I got into a lot of mischief. And I`ve always been active, doing something. I was a real outdoors-man. Used to fish, and I loved hunting. Back in them Depression days, or back in the `40s and all that, I used to trap. I did everything. I used to hunt and be out there on snowshoes. And, boy, I`ll tell you one thing: You had to be in pretty good shape to do that. My legs were like iron. You`re walking two, three miles in the woods and there are no paths there; you`re making your own way. I got hung up a few times where one foot was here, the other over there, all hooked up, and I`m in the snow, I said, You son of a bitch! (Laughs.) And then you gotta turn around, take the snowshoe off in order to unhook yourself. . . . Like I said, I was very active all the time. You can`t just sit and eat, then sit around somewhere. I never did that. And I`ve always eaten well, and properly. Whenever I go out, I got a little coffee thing, with a little snack, a little fruit -- I eat a lot of fruit. I have at least four or five fruits a day, been that way my whole life. Yep, eating well and staying active, being outside, fishing, hunting. In fact, I`m going to go deer hunting pretty soon, going out December second. And it`s funny, the guys say to me, "Well, what if you got crippled up or something, Fred?" I say, "You know what? Even if somebody puts me on a wheelchair, I`d still go out there." Just put the gun on my lap and put me even in the road. I`d sit in the road there just to be outside in the fresh air, doing something.

How have you dealt with your own health issues over the years?
I take things as they come, even when I had my bypass. My theory is, if you have to have anything done, an operation or anything, you accept it. Plus, you gotta have a lot of humor with it. I don`t care how sick I am, that`s very important and part of that recipe you asked about. All the doctors say to me, "You know, that`s the kind of attitude to have. You`re a happy guy," one said to me. I love to have patients like you."

That reminds me, when I had this bypass done, there was another guy from Maine just like me in the room with me. They put us in the room and then brought other guys in, guys who felt sorry for themselves. Every time they had a troubled patient, they brought him into our room, and by the time those guys left, they had a different attitude. I remember the doctors said, "You know, we should hire these two guys, keep them here to straighten these people out." They said, "You`re the best patients to have, and you`ll heal a lot quicker with that attitude." So they believed what I believe. Humor`s the best medication in the world. Or a smile. I know it`s worked for me.

Harry J. Getzov is the founder of Eldercation -- an organization committed to changing the way our culture views aging and older people. He is also the author of the award-winning book, "gOLD -- The Extraordinary Side of Aging Revealed Through Inspiring Conversations" -- (Available on in paperback and Kindle formats) Follow Eldercation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and check out Harry`s blog,€ "Taking The Scenic Route."