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Plucky Survivors Hall of Fame
This page features the people, places, or things we think are worthy of the title Plucky Survivor. If you have a suggestion for a future inductee, send us an e-mail.
September 25, 2009
Our second inductee into the Plucky Survivors Hall of Fame is none other than Walter Bruening of Great Falls, Montana. Why? Well, we could just say it's because he's the world's oldest man, who just celebrated his 113th birthday and leave it at that. But there's a lot more to Walter than just his age.

We have to admit that we're a little leery of what he gives credit for his longevity to... he says the secret is to not eat too much. Those of you who know us know this is not a credo we follow often or willingly, despite it making sense. In fact, whenever we see those inevitable studies about how cutting out something like red meat can add five years to your life, we say things like "If it means that I can keep eating cheeseburgers and steak, I'll happily give up the five years. They come at the end when it's usually crappy anyway."

But Mr. Bruening is still going strong at 113 and it is his words of wisdom at his birthday party that made us sit up and take notice. Here are a few choice nuggets:

"Life begins each morning whether we have succeeded or failed or just muddled along. Life is a school to learn, not to unlearn."

"Life is short but the influences of what we do or say is immortal. There needs to be much more of the spirit of fellowship among us and more forgiveness. The power of gentleness is little seen in the world."

"Remember that life's length is not measured by its hours and days, but by that which we have done therein. A useless life is short if it lasts a century."

"Everything just is beautiful; everything beautiful ought to be just."

Words to live (long) by, we say. And we also say, welcome Walter, to the Plucky Survivors Hall of Fame.

You can read more about Walter in the story on

Photo: Rion Sanders, Great Falls Tribune/AP

September 15, 2009
Our inaugural inductee into the Plucky Survivors Hall of Fame is actress Kathryn Joosten. Best known for her roles as Mrs. McClusky on "Desperate Housewives" (for which she has won two Emmy Awards) and Mrs. Landingham on "The West Wing," Joosten was diagnosed in 2001 with lung cancer. She battled the disease into remission and has since been lecturing to audiences around the country about surviving and living your dreams.

Two weeks ago her doctors told her that they found a new spot on her lung. What did Joosten do? Well, she cried a bit but then the next day she flew to Oklahoma City for a speaking engagement and plans to fight even harder to remove the stigma of lung cancer as being a disease that people deserve because they smoked too much.

In an interview in People Magazine, Joosten said "To get back in control I have to attack. I have to make this something that I can have an effect on. I want to erase some of the stigma [because]... no one deserves lung cancer."

We loved Mrs. Landingham, think Mrs. McClusky is a hoot, but we think Kathryn Joosten is Plucky Survivor.

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