Living to age 100 — or older — is a feat, no doubt. But reaching that landmark and maintaining a lively mind is an even rarer achievement. According to the 2010 census, there are more than 50,000 Americans who are age 100 or older. Anna Out water Day ’ 27 is undoubtedly one of Bucknell’s eldest alumni. And Charlie Vogel ’ 37 will soon join the century club. They have a thing or two to say about living a rich life.
IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
Charlie Vogel ’ 37 turns 100 on Feb. 2, and is still cruising around
in his red Jag.
Charlie Vogel, age 99 and counting, routinely drives his
red 2009 Jaguar around his home, Pennsylvania’s Chester
County. He’s a breakfast regular at Penn’s Table in West
Chester, where all the workers know him, and his meals are
free for the rest of his life. He still interviews prominent guests
for the TV channel at his retirement complex. With more
than 100 shows on his résumé, his guests have included several
famous standouts from his beloved Philadelphia Phillies —
Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Charlie Manuel included.
Vogel just recently surrendered his role as board treasurer
of the local Meals on Wheels and began using a cane. He
has more hair than his middle-aged interviewer does, and
not all of it is gray.
Thinking back on his years at Bucknell prompts fond
memories. “I cherish every moment I spent up there, good
and bad,” he says.
Tops on the “good” list, he says, was meeting his wife,
Virginia Fisher ’ 40, who died in 2011. Following Bucknell
football was high on his “good” list, too — he says he got an
award for attending Homecoming games 60 years straight.
On the “bad” ledger was the huge Susquehanna River
flood of 1936. He and a pal borrowed a canoe and helped
rescue people from homes by the river. Vogel also scored
some points with his French teacher by making sure the
man’s piano was out of reach of the floodwaters — a handy
chit to have, he said, because foreign languages “weren’t my
He remembers returning from swim practice one winter
morning, when the car he was riding in slid off the road and LAU