Tolstoy’s Bicyclist nonagenarian George Dawson and brain fitness

“Some people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” Edwards said. “So I always like to mention George Dawson. He died a couple of years ago at age 102 or 103. What’s remarkable about George Dawson is that he learned to read at age 98.”

Dawson, of Texas, who was the grandson of slaves, then collaborated with co-author Richard Glaubman to write his autobiography, “Life is So Good,”‘ published in 2000 by Random House.

2011-05-28 Oprah recently posted this video about Mr Dawson’s legacy, George Dawson’s Legacy May 13, 2011

According to this entry, Mr Dawson published his first book at 102 years.

African American Read-In has a more detailed biography, “George Dawson also received two Doctorates of Humane letters from Texas Weslyan University and New School of New York City. In 2002, George Dawson Middle School was named in his honor in Southlake, Texas.” Click the photo to visit. George Dawson reading at 102

Mr Dawson’s accomplishments came up in a news summary of what the latest studies say about retaining or improving mental agility (caffeine in women. not men, is another finding). The summary is pretty good about the types of “neurobics” (stupid term, IMO) which are recommended more and more frequently. They also note the relationship between physical exercise and mental ability, “The general concept is: what’s good for your heart is good for your brain,” Mirza said.

In Bethel, they will probably just hide another jigsaw piece I hear they still won’t let the elderlies run the place.

Work your way to brain fitness
Posted by Linda S. Mah/Gazette August 21, 2007 17:14PM

…Physical exercise, social involvement, challenging activities and new experiences are all recommended as ways to help keep our brains in top-notch condition.

“The analogy may be trite, but the brain is like a muscle,” said Morry Edwards, a licensed clinical psychologist with Neuropsychology Associates in Kalamazoo. “The circuits strengthen when you use your brain. If you don’t, the circuits fade.”…

“Some more-recent research shows it’s not just the exercise but the type of exercise or variety of exercise that you do which is important,” Mirza said.
[…]

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4 Responses to “Tolstoy’s Bicyclist nonagenarian George Dawson and brain fitness”


  1. 1 vuee 2008 April 21 at 9:11 pm

    Late-life reader inspires others to overcome illiteracy
    101-year-old to become oldest person to receive Governor General’s caring award
    Krista Seggewiss, The Ottawa Citizen
    Published: Saturday, April 19, 2008

    At 101, Clarence Brazier is set to become the oldest person to receive the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.

    The award, established in 1996 to recognize outstanding community volunteer work, will be the latest feather in Mr. Brazier’s cap.

    The Huntsville-area resident became an inspiration to many when at the age of 93, he learned how to read. Mr. Brazier has visited schools and nursing homes to tell his story. He is one of the Muskoka Literacy Council’s favourite success stories. …”It was so exciting to be able to read alone.”

    As a boy, Mr. Brazier stepped up to run the family farm when he was seven, after his father was blinded in a dynamite accident. He missed a lot of school and eventually fell behind.” […]

    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=afb6e364-71fe-432b-9b80-38f52ea193f0

  2. 2 naomi 2009 January 4 at 1:54 am

    I am submitting this reply after having read George Dawson book.

    I would like to believe that I’m a developing writer myself. One of my likes upon this earth, is to also read. I never finished school and was asked to leave at the age of fourteen. However I did like school very much. I went on to living a lifestyle that slowly lacked good morals. This resulting in having children perhaps too soon, imprisonment, going nowhere really. I have wanted to write my own life story for a long time, but have never really followed it through. George Dawson has become a legend in my eyes. It is the 3rd of January 2009 and exactly 11.03pm and I have just finished reading the accounts of his life. I live in New Zealand, with my husband and six children. I can relate to having a challenging life like Georges, but definetly a different kind challenge. Perhaps George himself would not even bother using the word challenging. I noted in the book he referred to things, “as that’s just the way things was”

    And he kind of accepted the era he grew up in, as a case of having to for the larger scale of his life. What me and this old timer have in common is the desire to use what we have been through to make a difference to help anybody else, even if only one person is positively effected by reading what you might have to say. They say never judge a book by it’s cover. Well I was in a second-hand book shop when I came across George Dawsons book – Life is so good. And I have to admit I did like to see his face on the front cover. Mostly because you could see alot of character in his face, then secondly the title of the book. I have met other people in this life that also have a relationship with God, and I believe they too are trying to maintain the same right heart attitude as George did. Something I remember hearing once “if you walk with the wise, you will be wise”

    This is what George Dawson reminds me of. He also reminds me of my late grandparents who wonderful, caring, and loving parents, as well as grandparents. I enjoyed his book very much. In Maori we would say it was tino pai, which means excellent. If I could write my life story in such a way that it doesn’t blame too much, nor judges or speaks too badly of others, my book could end up tino pai category. Well I hope so anyways. Even I would of wanted to salute him for making it this far, and living to tell of it and write it into a book. All I can really say to his acheivement is well done good and faithful servant, now take your crown that waits for you in heaven. And that’s what I honestly believe has happened to this extrodinary as well as ordinary man. If you were ask me what does a servant of God look like. I would say just like George Dawson. And just like how Richard Glaubman took an interest in George’s article, I absolutely know I would of wanted to hang out with him too. Thanks to George Dawson following his heart and allowing others to read his book, many lifes will be forever touched, and inspired. Perhaps even me, from little wee New Zealand. I especially loved the way he finishes his book. A good start, and a grate finish. And even though George himself wont get to read this reply for himself, the thought that it might bless his remaining family makes it worth while.

    Warm Regards
    naomi’G

  3. 3 vuee 2009 January 4 at 6:26 am

    Haeremai, Naomi. I’m so glad you dropped by. For me, it is so difficult to remember and learn from one’s life in the way that you and George Dawson exemplify–

    If I could write my life story in such a way that it doesn’t blame too much, nor judges or speaks too badly of others, my book could end up tino pai category.

    It takes a great deal of earned strength, to keep oneself open.

    You write so well; please continue.

    Kia ora.

  4. 4 Rebecca Davis 2011 May 13 at 2:06 pm

    I am very graiful to have read this story their a lot of truth in what Mr Dawson has shared well done.


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