I spent some time with Ernie Harwell today. He's 91 and going strong. He still represents Blue Cross Blue Shield and he was in town to promote walking as a way of maintaining good health. His wife Lulu will be 90 this year and the couple has been married for 68 years. They live in a development in Novi and Ernie rarely goes to Comerica Park-- too much hassle anymore after Opening Day.
I asked him about the future of America-- and he quickly said the decline of the strong family unit and values is the biggest problem-- too many kids with unwed parents or single parents, etc. He's seen poverty in many major league cities over the years. We didn't talk much baseball-- other than he reminisced about the late George Kell and Mark Fidrych, two Tigers' personalities he knew and liked for years and have passed away.
I asked him about any future goals-- and he lives each day to the fullest, he says and he takes life day by day. He smiles often and keeps his weight down. His diet stays away from bread and starches and ice cream, even though he loves the latter. He vowed not to eat junk food at major league parks over the years. And he exercises on and on and on... something special and still going strong at age 91 and with a value system that makes him precious to many around the state-- Ernie Harwell.