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A Brief But Spectacular take on appreciating what we have

At age 85, Lucile Day of Greenville, Florida, tends her own garden, located on land her grandparents cultivated before her. She still wields a chainsaw and gets “plenty of exercise” from her outdoor activities. Day believes strongly in a dedicated work ethic, appreciating what one has and prioritizing community. She shares her Brief But Spectacular take on the joy of living.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Tonight's Brief But Spectacular comes from Lucile Day of Greenville, Florida. A town of 800 people, 33 percent of Greenville residents live below the poverty line.

    But even amid hard times, Day remains optimistic about the sense of community that has prevailed.

    We thought her spirit and wisdom would be welcome after a very unsettling week and day of news.

  • Lucile Day:

    As a child, I went to a segregated school.

    My reaction has always been to feel sorry for the person who is discriminating against somebody. I felt that they were missing something in their lives.

    I would always try, well, why is that person feeling that way? Well, what's wrong? I feel so sorry for that person. He can't get it right. That's just my reaction.

    I don't mind telling you how old I am. I am so proud to be 85. I live in Greenville, Florida.

    The land that I'm living on, we moved here in 1939. I was 5 years old.

    My grandparents planted this garlic, so you know it's been here a very long time. I enjoy working in the garden, watching things grow. This is where I get plenty of exercise. I feel at least 16 years old. I get around as I always did. I'm able to drive places and climb places.

    This is where the fun stuff — I call this area my backyard spa. You can choose your own exercise equipment. And should you want to cut some logs, I have, and will show you how to use my chain saw.

    But best of all is seeing the smiles on people's face when I give them my veggies. This is part of my breakfast foods.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • Man:

    Can we try one?

  • Lucile Day:

    Yes. You're welcome.

    Don't have really, really worries. I know where to take my worries. I do have some concerns. I'm concerned about our young people.

    One night, I was I in bed reading. I heard a click coming from the carport, went to the door, turned on the light. Lo and behold, there was a familiar face looking at me. This is the side of the car the young man was trying to get into.

    And when I flipped on the light, he kind of dodged that way. I went out and talked to that familiar face. You know you have done something wrong, and that's not the way you were raised. We don't do that to each other.

    I gave him an opportunity to jump the fence and leave, because I could see that this young man needed a change. He still calls me. And to this day, I have never told anyone his name. Mothers would ask: Was it my son? Was it my son?

    I'm not telling. I'm not telling. Still don't tell.

    My work ethics have come from my grandparents, my family, and my community, which I call the village. If you're going to do something, then do it right.

    If there is a secret to aging, this is it: Do the best you can when you can. Treat your body and your mind right. Treat other people like you want to be treated and enjoy life.

    My theory is, many times, we already have what we are seeking for if we just look within.

    My name is Lucile Day. This is my Brief But Spectacular take on the joy of living.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And, boy, did we need to hear that.

    Thank you, Lucile.

    And you can find all our Brief But Spectacular segments online at PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.

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