Art of Aging: Local veterans stay young through memories, laughter

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Just like high blood pressure or cholesterol, loneliness in seniors is a disease that experts say can and should be treated.

And there's a local WWII veteran who's created his own weekly cure.

The coffee is always fresh at the Corner Café in Rockledge. The talk and laughs flow freely.

And memories from over 70 years ago are kept alive in the telling.

"I remember meeting General Patton himself. I look up, there are them big stars. I remember it like it was yesterday. He said, 'You stay there Sergeant. You're more valuable than I am.'," said 92-year-old Walter R. Waldron from Philadelphia.

97-year-old Alex Kane from Abington, Pennsylvania started the informal gathering of fellow vets and friends a few months ago.

"They were lonesome, and I figure, well, let's meet on a Friday," he said.

This group has found that sharing memories and forging friendships can be the best medicine for old age.

"Being alone is not a very good thing. You have to have someone who knows what you're talking about," said 92-year-old Maurice Berry from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

But the table talk leans to humor. These guys are loving life too much to gripe.

The group welcomes all and everyone who takes a seat, gets a little lift.

"They're a very active group, so I'm trying to find out how to keep it going," said Mary Jane Linn from Northeast Philadelphia.

"They're living, breathing history, and I really love that. The connection is very important to them because it keeps them young," said 69-year-old Lee Michaels from Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania.

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