I read last week that 97-year-old Dick Van Dyke had had a slight one-car accident. His car skidded in Malibu amid a downpour of rain and hit a block wall and a gate. His injuries were minor.
Yep, still driving at 97. Dick Van Dyke is also dancing and singing and enjoying life. His recipe is in a book I loved, Keep Moving: and Other Tips and Tricks About Aging.
Van Dyke’s book was written several years ago, but to this “mature” reader it was instantly relevant. Yes, he talks a bit about his private life: marriage and divorce of his first wife, a 30-year relationship with Michelle Triola Marvin (Yes, that gal of palimony fame), a bout with alcoholism in his 40s and then his 2019 recent marriage to Arlene Silver. Arlene is a mere 46 years younger than Van Dyke! (He says romance is just as exciting at 86 as at 20, and he has one complete chapter in the book answering the question: “What do you two talk about?”)
I loved the upbeat spirit of the book and the advice which seems to be in every chapter. Here are a few of Van Dyke’s tips (in addition to his advice that when music is playing in a supermarket and you feel like dancing–do it! He does.)
“Collect experiences, not memories.”
“Forgiveness is the best sleeping pill.”
“As you get older, you start to shrink. But your heart still retains the capacity to grow and expand.”
“Carry a flashlight with you. It’s helpful in dark restaurants.”
“Everything really does look better in the morning.”
“Old age is not the time to be scared; instead, be curious.”
‘Health foods no longer matter after eighty years old. At that point eat anything you want for the rest of your life. That’s healthy!”
(Van Dyke says also, don’t forget dessert. He prefers ice cream and chocolate sauce.)
When I finished this book, I was quite happy. It was like “a spoonful of sugar” and I recommend the book to anyone who needs a positive lift. Van Dyke cheerleads in a way that is very compelling–so compelling that I was curious how Van Dyke looked and sounded in his older age. Here’s a sample clip.
As it happens, I also ran across this Dick Cavett interview in which Van Dyke talks about his days as an alcoholic which are words to remember.
And finally, most recently, guess who was a surprise guest on TV’s the Masked Singer?