On July 1 Harold Land was surrounded by family and friends as he munched on birthday cake and slurped on some cola.
He had three balloons tied to his wheelchair and was enjoying waving and making silly faces at those taking his picture.
July 1 was Land’s 103rd birthday. He is one of three residents at Oakbrook Health and Rehabilitation Center in Summerville who is over the age of 100.
He said he does not know how he has managed to have such a long and healthy life.
“I’ve never been too much sick in my life,” he said. “I’ve been a little sick but not too much.”
Land was joined by his daughter Louise Sage, who said her father was born in Georgia but grew up on a farm in Tennessee, raising things like cotton, corn and melons. Land was married 64 years until his wife passed, and from that marriage he had three children. He has nine grandchildren, about 25 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.
“He’s always worked hard,” Sage said. “He’s the only one in his family to ever live to this age.”
Sage said he did not drink or smoke. He stayed healthy by eating fruits and vegetables. He has never fought cancer and at Oakbrook Health and Rehab his only medicine is vitamins and Tylenol.
“He’s in pretty good shape,” Sage said, “and he does not look 103.”
Land has been a resident at Oakbrook Health since November. He was joined at his 4th of July-themed birthday party by his daughter’s family – something Sage felt was a very important thing to have on her dad’s 103rd birthday.
“I feel good,” Land said. “It’s good to have them (my family) all here.”
Sage likes to compare her father to the Energizer Bunny: “He just keeps on going and going.”