Bonnie Bing

Secret to longevity: Loving every minute

When I started working at The Wichita Eagle more than 30 years ago (good grief!), it was up to the newbies to interview people having their 100th birthdays. We were sort of the Willard Scotts of the paper. These days, so many people make it to 100 years, it’s not the rarity it used to be. But think of that: 100 years. I still find it very impressive.

I had the pleasure of talking to two women last week who recently have crossed the century mark. And I couldn’t help myself: I had to ask them why they thought they had lived so long.

Addene Kincaid said she’s pretty sure it’s good genes. She had a sister who lived to be 103.

Lucille Bishop said she simply doesn’t know how or why she has lived so long.

“Someone just gave me the latest reason. They said, ‘The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.’ But I don’t complain,” she said with a chuckle.

They both reside in assisted living facilities, and both seem to live by a rule of life I try to abide by: Bloom where you are planted.

And both have maintained a positive attitude.

When I asked Lucille if she thought that was one reason for her longevity, she said, “Well, it didn’t hurt.”

I have known Addene since 1964. A kinder, more gracious lady you will not find. She grew up on a farm, became a nurse, then a wife and a mother of a son and a daughter.

“I’ve just been fortunate, and I appreciate the people who have been so good to me all my life.”

Her face lights up when she talks about her children and daughter-in-law. “I couldn’t ask for anything more,” she said.

Lucille said she worked at nursing homes, so she knew what to expect in her later years and she knows “both sides of the fence.”

“ ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ will get you a lot of things,” she said.

Her most recent job was being a cashier at Joe’s restaurant in Belle Plaine. “I worked there eight years, and I loved every minute of it,” she said.

There’s the answer: “Loving every minute of it.”

Of course, good genes are an important element when it comes to longevity, but 100 years old or not, I believe those who enjoy life and depend on themselves for that enjoyment are the ones who live the longest and have the best quality of life.

Talking to these two amazing women proved it to me one more time. They’ve both lived more than 36,500 days. Think what they’ve seen and experienced. And they’re still smiling. And blooming.

Shoe Diva deadline approaching

Who wouldn’t want to win five – count them, five – new pairs of shoes from Heads Shoe Store? You can do just that by entering the Shoe Diva Charity Contest, which is a fundraiser for Children First: Children’s Educational Opportunity Kansas Inc.

All you have to do is figure out which of these women owns the most shoes: Realtor Cindy Carnahan, radio personality Carol Hughes, television host Sierra Scott, TV news anchor Kara Sewell, Butler Community College President Jackie Vietti or Wichita City Council member Lavonta Williams.

Go to Heads Shoe Stores or visit for a link to Children First’s website, where you can download an entry form.

Next, make a suggested donation of $10. No purchase is necessary to win, but you need to be at least 18 years old and a Kansas resident. And while we’re talking eligibility, if you’re related to one of the Shoe Divas, you can’t enter.

If you win, not only will you pick out five pairs of shoes with a value of up to $150 each, but you’ll get a cash award of $500 if you guess the exact number of shoes the top Shoe Diva owns. You can buy new handbags or more shoes! The winning entry will be drawn from the top Shoe Diva’s collection of entries. You’ll have three months to pick out your five new pairs of shoes.

Do it today, because the deadline is Thursday!

Get ready, set, shop

Independent Living Resource Center’s Seventh Annual Shopportunity is April 26 at NewMarket Square shopping center at 21st and Maize. The number of tickets is limited, so get yours now. If you buy four tickets, you’ll receive one free.

A few reasons to go: Stores have special offers for Shopportunity shoppers, the center has several new stores, and Applebee’s will be giving away a Coach purse to one lucky ticketholder. And all proceeds will help provide resources and services for more than 2,000 people with disabilities each year.

Purchase tickets at Dressbarn, Rylee & Reece and Specs in NewMarket Square, online at, or by phone at 316-942-6300.