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Veteran loves his cigars

Veteran loves his cigars

Sept. 13, 1988: Martin De Young, 100, says his greatest pleasure in life is smoking a cigar. De Young, a resident of the Veterans Home of California in Yountville, says he cut down to three a day, one after each meal.

Los Angeles Times columnist Charles Hillinger took the portrait of De Young, then wrote in a Nov. 25, 1988, column:

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. – The two World War I Army veterans sat side by side at the 40th annual Veterans of Foreign Wars Picnic and engaged in lively conversation.

“You got some age on me,” Martin De Young said to Homer Holmes, who turned 100 last February. De Young celebrated his 100th birthday in May.

“How come you live so long?” Holmes asked his younger friend.

“It’s the cigars,” De Young laughed, puffing away and revealing a toothless smile. “Cigars are the greatest pleasure of my life now. I smoke three White Owls a day, one after each meal.”

Asked if smoking isn’t dangerous to his health. De Young laughed and replied: “You must be kidding. I’ve been smoking cigars 85 years.”

Both men are residents of the Veterans Home of California, which houses 1,275 veterans of both world wars, the Korean conflict and Vietnam.

The full Charles Hillinger story is online: Veterans Home Is a Quiet Corner Far From Shot, Shell

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