Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Bowen Elders

A great tribute to our Island's oldest resident, Jan Furst from The Teachings of Elders: Ellen Hayakawa's Blog:

"I will never forget the time, 4 or 5 years ago when I met Jan on the ferry on a Sunday morning. I asked him where he was going. He said that he had entered into an over 65 team fencing competition (which is one of his loves). Two days later I saw him and it turned out that his team had placed 2nd or 3rd out of 10 teams. Knowing nothing about fencing, I asked him how many people he had fenced that day expecting him to say 2 or 3. It turned out that he had fenced with 30 people!!"
I once asked Jan about his fencing and asked if he had done it all his life. "No," he said. "I did it in school and then took a little break, about 70 years or so until I took it up again."

One time he told me he was heading back to Norway for his annual return visit but this year he was going early. I asked him why and he said "My son is retiring!" I looked at him blankly. What do you say to someone whose son is retiring? "You must be very proud!" I said. He just beamed.