Consider it one more reason to never skimp on the cherries.

By Mike Pomranz
April 15, 2020
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In 2017, there were 86,248 Americans over the age of 100, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That number is small enough that many of these centenarians were likely featured in local news stories—and, of course, given the mandatory inquiry, “What is the secret to a long life?”

And yet, the number is also large enough to offer plenty of opportunities for attention-grabbing answers. For all the boring responses like “eating healthy” that must land on the newsroom floor, all it takes is one guy who says “high-stakes golf bets” to make international headlines. As a result, despite what any doctor would likely recommend, the secrets to living past 100 that we typically see are things like Hershey’s chocolate, Champagne, whiskey, beer and potato chips, and a daily Guinness. After 100 years on Earth, what these people have really learned is how to give the public what they want!

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Speaking of which, on Saturday, Ralph Wendorf of Albuquerque nailed the “secret to a long life” question when interviewed for his 100th birthday. “I put two cherries in my Manhattans,” he told a local KRQE News 13 reporter with a chuckle while donning a black World War II Veteran cap. Cheers to that!

Certainly, that response may have been in earnest, but Wendorf also clearly established himself as a jokester. When asked how 100 feels, he simply reached out to start feeling the air. “Pretty good,” he laughed.

Sadly, the reporter didn’t ask any of the follow-up questions a dedicated Manhattan drinker would like to know. What about one cherry? Would that do the trick? Is three cherries too many, or do you think that could help me live to 150? And how often are we drinking Manhattans? Are we talking once a week? Once a month? Twice a day at lunch and before bed?

No, instead, News 13 decided to focus on the fact that—due to the stay-at-home order caused by the coronavirus pandemic—Wendorf received a de facto parade in his honor with friends and neighbors, Bernalillo County first responders, The Duke City Gladiators indoor football team, and even some motorcycle clubs all passing by to wish him a happy birthday. He even received a message from New Mexico’s governor. Maybe we can dig deeper into this whole cherry thing for his 101st birthday when he’s less busy.