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DICK BOTTINELLI

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I met Dick Bottinelli while hiking on the Gunny Loop up on Little Park Road here in Grand Junction. Our dogs said hello and so did we.

Come to find out Dick was 91 years-old and a WWII Veteran ...

a former nationally ranked tennis player ( in his 70's! ), still married to his wife of 66 years. AND...Dick is quite the fast walker.

He along with his dog log more than 3 miles a day hiking! i asked him if he'd be up for an interview...and like a lot of wise, humble people...Dick said he didn't have anything special to say.

But, with a little coaxing from his wife and daughter Carolyn ...he agreed to a little 'walk and talk'.

And what I discovered? A man who has been on the planet for almost a century not only has something to say...but a little wisdom as well..

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Transcript: DICK BOTTINELLI

the service.

" > this is the 14th military service was once a way of life for most americans.ééé wars dictated drafts and able-bodied men were expected to serve .ééé but this next man you're about to meet - - he's more than able- bodied -- and -- he's been on the planet for more than nine decades.ééé i got a chance to talk and walke with former air coreman and all around neat guy... dick bottinelli.ééé &lt; " i don't have any treats... they're in the car...

" meet...

" dick bottinelli ... i'm 91 years old ... (me: do you forget sometimes?) " nah... i just try and cheat sometimes" and... this is bella...

" she's the best in the world ... if it wasn't for her i wouldn't walk as much and probably wouldn't be as old...

" i met dick up here on little park trailhead while i was hiking " can't beat grand junction weather...

" just a man and his best friend... doing what friends do ...

" lets go bella ... lets sit on this one over here... feels good to sit down...

" you see... dick comes up here to walk and get a little perspective...

' i just go with the flow...

" (me: 'what you gonna do the next 10 years?") " doing what i'm doing right now...

" with all that's going on in the world... i like dick's philosophy...

" i don't worry about those things ... make sure your healthy...

" and at almost 92? dick walks more than 2 miles a day... with bella by his side...

" health... take care of your health ... god only gave you one body... better take care of if." and make the most of it... you see it was 1942...

" when i was a senior in high school i was 5'2" tall and weighed a 100 pounds." but he made into the military, the air core... he grew... and when he came home?

" threw my duffle bag down and said hey mom ... she didn't recognize me...

" he served in the south pacific in world war two... he lost a lot of friends...

" we called him tivee...

" " " he was killed in iwo jima ... and when you get older ... reality ... friends? they pass away...

"i don't have any of my old friends ... don't know any of them that are still alive...

" dick didn't see any action ... but he did see tragedy...

' and that airplane hit right in the street in front of our baracks ... i could see the flames shooting down and it killed a whole bunch of people in those barracks ... the memories still fresh but dick has moved on and is still married to his first real sweetheart...

" my wife's name is marian ... we've been married 66 years...

" they met in denver...

"we liked to dance at elitches' in denver...

" the secret to love with marian?

"do everything she tells me ...

" dick got his law degree from d-u. but for 40 years it was a career in insurance...

" i was making 600 a month adjusting... i had a wife and baby ..so it wasn't a hard decision...

" a veteran, a husband, a dad ... and a buddy to bella ... 8:06 ' sit... that's a good girl.' love, time and going with the flow... 91 years- one step at a time... - " thanks for letting me walk with you today... my daughter and wife were more interested in this than i




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