Human Interest

Associated Press
Dulcibella King-Hall, in early celebration
of her 107th birthday, became the oldest
person to take a lap at the Brands Hatch
Racing Circuit. 

Age No Obstacle in Pursuit of Lifelong Dreams

March 27, 2009 07:30 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A 76-year-old man who scaled Mt. Everest and a 95-year-old college graduate are just two of many people achieving lifelong dreams far into adulthood.

Amazing Achievements at Record-Breaking Ages

On March 25, a 106-year-old woman, Dulcibella King-Hall, became the oldest person to complete a lap at the Brands Hatch raceway. Her laps as a passenger were part of the early celebration of her 107th birthday. King-Hall worked as a test driver for the British Army in World War II, and said to Sky News of her ride, "It could have been faster."

Nola Ochs made history and headlines in 2007 when she became, at age 95, the world's oldest college graduate. Ochs graduated from Fort Hays State University in Kansas with a degree in history. Her 21-year-old grandaughter graduated in the same class.

At age 76, Nepalese climber Min Bahadur Sherchan became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Before he set the record in May 2008, the oldest person to climb the mountain was Katsusuke Yanagisawa, who was 71 years old when he made the climb.

In February of this year, Jose Castellanos became the oldest person to become a United States citizen. Castellanos, a 100-year-old Cuban national, will turn 101 in March. 

Celebrities, Everyday People Reach for Dreams Late in Life

In 2008, Jack Moelmann, a 67-year-old retired Air Force colonel, spent his entire life savings, a total of $120,000, to perform at Radio City Music Hall on the celebrated Wurlitzer organ. Moelmann considered inviting the Rockettes to perform with him, but could not afford the extra $90,000.

Molemann told CBS News that, after thinking about wanting to play at Radio City, "I looked in the mirror and said, 'Jack, you have a dream, go for it!'" Molemann sold tickets for $50 a piece, and played in front of a crowd of about 1,000 people. Even though he didn't make his money back, he did get something else out of the experience: an offer to play the largest theatre organ in the world at a department store in Philadelphia.

In March 2008, comedian Billy Crystal fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing with the New York Yankees. Crystal suited up for a spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and fouled off a pitch before striking out in one at bat. In 2000, country singer Garth Brooks joined the New York Mets for spring training. One year earlier, Brooks played with the San Diego Padres and racked up a .045 batting average.

In April 2007, the New Scientist reported that Microsoft impresario Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, was considering a flight into space. “The first slot for a potential Gates flight would be in 2009,” according to the article.

Related Topic: Randy Pausch's 'Last Lecture'


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