The 'King' and I
July 21, 2015 | 03:10 PM
Before I met George Guastello, I had not previously had the privilege of interviewing someone days away from turning 100-years-old. The prospect of doing so was nerve-wracking on a number of levels. Primarily, I was unsure of how he would respond to my questions. Would he be able to understand my questions? Would I articulate well enough? Would my video camera run out of battery amidst filming? (Right before my interview, I realized the battery I was using wasn’t going to hold a charge for very long.) But now that I’ve completed my interviews and spent several hours with George, I know that I had nothing to worry about (except that the battery did run out on me during my first interview).
Danny Rosenberg and George Guastello
Talking to George about his life and his adventures was a humbling experience for me and ultimately very rewarding. George Guastello is a self-made man, a man who worked his way through pharmacy school during the Depression era when his family couldn’t afford to send him. He was held up at his pharmacy multiple times and even witnessed a murder. He loved his profession and he loves the sport of golf, but most of all, he loves his family. What he said to me that resonated most is that a man is only as important as the legacy he leaves, and that legacy for him is his children. George is extremely proud of his well-educated and successful children, and his love for them is radiant and unwavering.
At the age of 100, he is more independent than most people twenty years his junior. He cooks almost every meal on his own and cleans up after himself, and he told me that doing so has given him more respect for his wife and other spouses who take on all of these responsibilities on their own.
If I could only take away one lesson from George, it would be to work as hard as I can to ensure the best life for my family. That’s what George did, and he couldn’t be happier about how his life has turned out. When I’m older, I want to look back on my life and feel the same way.