With the holidays approaching and the promise of a brand new year, United Zion resident Glen Morgan has brought in the New Year approximately 104 times.
When I met with Glen, he was all smiles tempered with a good sense of humor and a big heart. What stood out the most when talking with Glen was his common sense approach to life.
Glen was a joy to be around as he shared many of the highlights of his life from his marriage to his high school sweetheart, and his job in a chicken hatchery as the egg-man supervisor. This also included his 3-year military career where he received a purple heart, but said he still could not recall what all the fuss was about. Glen shed a few tears reminiscing about his wonderful dog Maxie, just a mutt who he recalled rested his nose in the crook of Glen’s neck to show his affection.
When asked what his best advice for a successful life is, he shared it is a positive attitude and to take life as it comes. “Accept what comes your way, the good and the bad” — Glen said, “and have an attitude of gratitude.”
“I guess with 104 New Years celebrations under your belt, you ought to know a thing or two about life” replied Lauren Gerson from Lancaster Health News, “and I so appreciate meeting with you today.”
Glen also shared that when he met his wife Elenore Artz and asked her out they went on a picnic. “I knew immediately she was the one,” Glen said. “Something magical happened and in a single moment it was as if I knew her forever.” He mentioned that throughout their marriage they never spoke a bad word to each other.
“I am sure she wanted to,” Glen said, “I wasn’t always easy,” he laughed, “but she never did.”
Glen smiled as his voice cracked and he said, “What I know for sure is my wife was the greatest lady that ever lived. She was perfect.”
When we asked Glen his secret to life he said, “I actually have no secrets. I am an open book. I take whatever comes along, and whatever happens, I go along with it.” He then added with a laugh, “I am just a lucky old man- too stubborn to die.”
Other residents have felt very fortunate being able to talk to Glen every day- being inspired and sometimes talking each other’s ears off, the staff shared.
Glen grew up in Pitman, a small farming community in Schuykill County.
“I worked with chickens most of my life,” Glen said. “I was hired as a supervisor to oversee the operations. I also traveled to Georgia for my work and the people there were always so nice and polite. Very hospitable. I supervised the egg facilities there and made sure that things ran smoothly, which they really appreciated.”
Glen shared that it was not a stressful job and it was simple then. People were very cooperative he remarked. “Everyone made me feel special and appreciated.”
When asked his thoughts about the news, Glen said “It mostly stinks.” He shared that they only print the bad stuff, adding he just reads the headlines now. “I guess the bad stuff makes it into the news more than the good – but it seems it’s always been that way.”
Glen cheerfully added, “I just really try to be a happy and jolly person. I like to be a positive person and look on the bright side of things.”
Glen let out a laugh when speaking fondly about holiday memories, telling us he had three daughters, several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and shared that he even has two great-great-grandchildren.
“What is the secret of your happy life Glen?”, Gerson asked. Glen replied, “my slogan is: ‘Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched’ adding “I have had a very happy life and I am no sad sack,” he said. “ I decide to think positive — negative thoughts do not do you any good.”
Glen said he was just an ordinary guy- an ordinary guy getting old. As we noticed the purple heart and the picture of his army squadron in his room, he said “what the hell did I do to get a purple heart?” laughing out loud. “I always try to do what’s right and that’s the size of it. I feel lucky to be alive at 104- and I only feel like I’m 65 years old. Honestly, I feel really good, but no plans to be running any races.”
Remember-“Your life is just what you make it.” – Glen Morgan.