Friday, July 1, 2011

Eric Shackle's Column

By Eric Shackle

Wednesday, 1 June 2011 World's Oldest Blogger, Bernando la Pallo, is 109 From ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia.

Brazilian-born Bernando la Pallo, who now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, is almost certainly the world's oldest blogger. He will celebrate his 110th birthday on August 17.

He looks half his age, and is a shining endorsement of his motto: "Age less, live more."

He moved to the U.S.with his family when he was five, and lived in New York for most of his life.

After studying abroad, he became an internationally renowned chef. He said he spent decades cooking for prominent people including Winston Churchill.

LaPallo has four children and four grandchildren. He hopes to live until he's at least 125.

Asked what are his favorite foods. he replied,"Garlic, olive oil, cinnamon, chocolate and honey."

Here's a story by Alexis Vance, a Fox-10 TV reporter who interviewed him on his 109th birthday:

MESA, Ariz. - On August 17, Bernando LaPallo turned 109 years old! This Mesa resident lives on his own, still drives and walks around just fine - it's incredible, so I asked him to share some of his secrets.

Bernando eats primarily raw fruits, veggies and fish. Meat is a treat only once a year. "This is my lifesaver, it keeps me I take it everyday since 1979 - I never miss." said LaPallo. He believes his clean lifestyle is why he's still alive.

"Well, I don't think I know that eating it's what you eat, you've heard people say you are what you eat, well you are."

Bernando reads daily, walks a mile and a half as soon as he gets up and his favorite product to use on his skin is olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is an age old secret he's practiced for years.

His faith is his foundation and his father his role model.

At 109, he's a popular man. He consults people who are trying to change their life for the better and makes speeches around the country. He's written one book, Age Less and Live More and is working on a second. His phone never stops ringing.

"I get calls from all over..Miami, Italy..I'm on TV in South America."

I asked him if he thinks about his final days. "I never gave dying any thought. I still don't. I know I've got to die. Everybody dies." said Bernando.

So what's next for a man who's lived over a century? He wants to open a restaurant here in the valley with raw foods on one side and healthy American food on the other. But on his birthday, he's going to take a break from his busy days and celebrate another year of life.

Four years earlier, Andy Hobbs, from the East Valley Tribune, interviewed Bernando, and reported:

"Believe him when he says he’s 104 "

Aging skipped Bernando LaPallo’s genes. He marked 104 years of life Wednesday, still defying every truth to getting old.

Barely a gray hair on his head, with saber-sharp social skills and shiny cocoa skin that shuns wrinkles.

I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes, much less my ears, at the fact he’s 104. He tires of the fuss people make over this number, but really, you can’t blame their awe — or envy.

I still looked for clues at his Mesa apartment, not so much because of doubt, but for a personal reality check. On a shelf, one trophy honored 20 years of service for his work as a chef on cruise lines. LaPallo got the trophy in 1957.

The disbelief, as hard as it is to put down, must go. LaPallo has earned every year on this planet through faith, education and taking care of his body.

He doesn’t eat meat, and for that matter, doesn’t indulge beyond satisfying hunger. Vegetables, fruit, fish and an overall organic diet do the trick.

Born Aug. 17, 1901, in Brazil, LaPallo moved to the United States with his family at age 5, where he was raised in New York and Philadelphia. Educated at a prestigious culinary arts school in Paris, his lifelong career path has included stints as a chef, podiatrist, herb specialist and massage therapist. Those topics dominate shelves filled with encyclopedias, textbooks and more.

It’s no surprise that longevity runs in the family. His father lived to be 97. His mother lived to be 105. In fact, photos of her at ages 104 and 68 just made me shake my head in amazement once again.

Georgette, his wife of 46 years, credits him for revitalizing her health. With the help of good nutrition and herbal supplements, her medication intake has been reduced from more than 20 pills to only two daily.

One would think LaPallo could make some serious money by selling his example of healthy living. I even suggested it, but he insists his philosophy would clash with the health care industry’s profit goals.

About a year ago, the couple moved from North Carolina to a modest Mesa apartment, where a good share of the residents run on the younger side.

For a guy who still hits the bowling alley — he recently bowled a 210 — LaPallo, in a way, really isn’t out of place.

"I have a friend who asks, ‘When are you going to age? When are you going to get old?’ ’’ he said.

"I ask myself the same thing.’’

Yvette Leslie of Mesa is LaPallo's unofficial adopted daughter who considers LaPallo her mentor. The two met 25 years ago and learned how to do theatrical and street makeup together at the Robert Fiance Hair Design Institute in New York.

She was shocked at his age when she first met him, and she still marvels at how well he's aged. "His memory is amazing," said Leslie, 52, a licensed massage therapist. "I've never seen him angry. His skin is so tight and in perfect condition. It just blows me away. "He's an amazing man. I've been blessed to have him in my life."

You can visit Bernando la Pallo's blog at
and see (and hear) him in videos at

Click on Eric Shackle for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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