Don Bowles, who becomes a centenarian this month, says living to 100 is easy. “I go to the gym twice a day when it’s open… ride the elevator five floors: not a rough commute. Also, I eat lots of vegetables… are these things hard to do? I don’t understand what people are doing with their time who aren’t exercising – everyone here has done harder things; it’s not like we’re being asked to become fluent in other languages.”
Incidentally, Don was fluent in Russian for years, so he certainly has done harder things. He eviscerated turkeys and bagged groceries as a youth and was a professional singer before giving it up for a career in academia. After graduate degrees and a PhD from Columbia he became the world’s top expert on Russian timber; spending years in Moscow on special projects – while living in Maryland and teaching Economics at American University in DC. Because of his extended time in the USSR, you might think Don was a CIA agent.
“Ridiculous” he says, “I’m terrible at keeping secrets.” Don retired as VP of American University… where he greatly strengthened the faculty team by removing dead wood (that means kicking out low performers). The University still has boxes of his published papers, and he earned many prestigious awards.
“Very few people are interested in this stuff, even after the work I did for the CIA was declassified…” wait, I thought he didn’t work for the CIA?! Whatever. Don doesn’t spend much time talking about the past. He’s more interested in what you think about the world around us right now, and what you’re doing about it.
When he’s not keeping up with the news and refuting rumors about his life, Don spends time pushing the TH management team on improvements. “What a privilege it is to live in a beautiful, high-quality place like this. Being around for a long time is easy; just give up the booze, exercise, and eat right. Speaking of exercise, why isn’t the gym open more often? Six days a week would be nice, and it wouldn’t be hard to do.”
About the author: Brian Cargille, like most people, wants to be more like Don. He is the son of TH resident Brenda Knight, and the retired Sr. VP of Operations at HP… who now teaches group exercise at the Ventura YMCA. Despite Don’s example, Brian *only* goes to the gym once per day, and believes his superpowers come from extra crispy French fries.
My grandmother lives at the Ventura Townehouse and I feel confident that she is in good hands. They get her to her appointments and provide any aftercare that she may need. Everyone there is friendly and like family. I feel like I’m at home when I go there to visit her and eat with her in the dining room.
Recently, I visited my Mom from Chicago. Each day I offered to take us out and about in Ventura. We found ourselves having such an enjoyable time at the Townehouse we didn’t leave. The dining room was so lovey to enjoy with her friends. Patios welcoming and the activities kept us busy. We laughed and had fun all day! Thank you everyone for making me feel at home and making my visit special. It’s always hard to leave my mom. But not as hard when I know she is so happy! Until my next visit!
Staff is very helpful and always concerned about my Mother’s needs, the interior and grounds maintenance is exceptional. Dining provides healthy menus to choose from. Front desk staff is always friendly and helpful. Best decision we ever made was bringing my mom here.