One Reason John Wooden lived to 99.

John Wooden is a legend, and was a legend before he died in June of 2010 what he has brought to my life and so many others will live on forever. I was of course growing up a basketball fan, I was born and raised in Indiana, a Hoosier but a Boilermaker (Purdue) basketball runs in your blood whether you play or not and it is a big event when you do have the concrete poured for your basketball goal in the front yard and even greater when it gets expanded to a the 3 point line.  My father always had a basketball signed by John Wooden and I will be honest I really didn’t’ know who he was, but I knew he must be someone special because my father had a signed ball on top of his desk. The magnitude of John Wooden was greater once I read one of his books that all 3 of us kids got for Christmas, Wooden: a lifetime of observations and reflections on and off the court. Wow this was my dad, the lessons that were being passed onto me, the type of man my father is was the type of man John Wooden was and his father Joshua was.  So when John Wooden passed away, I did cry. I had not personally met him although I feel like I know him. His pyramid of success made it into my final college paper on leadership, and as I read his book “My Personal Best”  I find a section that relates to what I do now and why I believe one  of the reasons he lived to 99.

Expert taken from John Wooden My Personal Best  pg 6-8 McGraw Hill Publishing

The food we ate, we grew. Dad had about thirty hogs, four or five milk cows, lots of chickens, and some mules for field work- no tractor for plowing, no automobile for driving. Mothers garden was next to the farmhouse and was bigger than the house. Peas, carrots, tomatoes,squash, beans, celery, radishes, and strawberries were grown, eaten, or canned and stored down in the fruit cellar. She even canned beef and pork. Chicken was the only fresh meat we ate year- round, and Mother cooked it a hundred different ways. I liked it every way she made it, especially roast chicken. In fact, I still like roast chicken. Occasionally Dad would shoot squirrel, rabbit, or quail, which added a little variety to our kitchen table.

Mother baked our bread and Dad churned our butter. When the bread was hot out of the stove, we’d spread the butter on thick and cover it with home ade strawberry jam, or blackberry or raspberry. I loved the heals of the loaf, still warm and soft with plenty of sweet fresh butter. I still love the heels, even if the bread was from the store. And I miss Mothers persimmon pudding, peach cobblers and homeade ice cream.

She sewed our clothing. In fact, I don’t remember her ever buying a new dress for herself. Only on rare occasion did she purchase new shoes. When she did, they had to last her a long time and so did ours.

Joshua Hugh and Roxie Anna Wooden’s lives were hard, but for my brothers and me, growing up on our little farm in Centerton was almost perfect.

As you go onto to read and if you know anything about John Wooden he was also healthy in his mind.  What do you think of the above and how is the way he grew up different from those today? Why is our way of today not as healthy as John’s?  I would love any John Wooden stories or thoughts you have.  What a great mentor and coach!



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Categories: Cool Facts, Health Education

Author:Sarah Moore

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