Doing for Himself
Jessen, Holly. "Doing for Himself." Forum, 11 December 2005, sec. 21A.
KULM, N.D. To demonstrate how a cortisone shot and various supplement
pills help keep his joints limber as he approaches 100, Albert Brost
doesn't hesitate. He jumps up from his seat and vigorously kicks
behind him several times.
Albert Brost in his Kulm
apartment turned 100 years old recently. Brost still lives on
his own and cooks for himself.
You want to find out how old I am? he asked before that. Im older
than I ever was before.
Friday was the Kulm residents' 100th birthday. He lives alone, walks
the block almost every day for exercise and cooks for himself.
I do the best I can from day to day, he said.
Once or twice a week, Brost walks a few blocks
to buy groceries and go to the post office or the bank. A woman
has offered to run errands for him, and the independent man said
he will accept help occasionally, when the weather is bad. He wants
to keep doing it for himself as long as I can go at it, he said.
Albert Brost was born Dec. 9, 1905, in Dickey County, to John and
Elizabeth (Rotschke) Brost, he said. His parents had eight children;
three boys and five girls.
With the exception of a sister who died of cancer at 63, longevity
his family. His father lived to nearly 84 and mother lived just
he said. Still living are three siblings, including a 95-year-old
and a 93-year-old brother.
The baby, she's 87, he said.
Quick to make a joke, he has a few theories on why he's lived so
first is that he's never been married. He was told married people
longer it just seems that way, he said.
Then he gets serious.
Maybe the good Lord has a little bit to say about it, he said.
If I look
at myself, all the mistakes I made, I went past the stop sign a
There are a few things that have gotten harder with age. His eyesight
failing and he can't read anymore, something he really enjoyed doing.
he doesn't get around as well as he used to. He's still a member of
Seventh-Day Adventist Church but doesn't attend anymore.
I run out of gas pretty quick now, he said.
Other people see it differently. Marvin Reinke, a fellow church
said Brost gets around better than a lot of people younger than
Getting lots of exercise has helped keep Brost young longer, Reinke
For 20 years, every summer Brost would mow three Adventist cemeteries
a 20-inch push mower.
He wouldn't take a riding one, Reinke said.
One cemetery, at the site of the first Kulm Adventist church, wasn't
accessible by a road. Brost would push the mower a quarter-mile
It was not exactly the end of the world, but you could see it from
Brost said, recalling it.
A push lawn mower provides good exercise. Besides that, leaning
handle is a good way to keep yourself steady, he said.
If you see me go down the street with a lawn mower, don't laugh,
There's a reason.
From 1945 to 1995, Brost only spent two winters in North Dakota.
South to work on various farms, mostly in New Mexico, he said.
While there, he spent a lot of time picking up aluminum pop cans.
them in and give a lot of the money to charities, including homeless
shelters and Adventist schools in New Mexico and South Dakota.
One winter he picked up about 3,500 pounds of cans. A man stopped
gave him $5.
He thought I was picking cans to make a living, Brost said with
At Heartland State Bank in Kulm, Penny Jans-Mclean, cashier and
vice president, said Brost was a marvel. Although he can't see too
anymore, he always knows what's going on.
He's as sharp as a tack, she said.
And he walks like he's only about 60 years old, she said.
I'm hoping I'm as good as he is if I get to be that age, she said.
Linda Hehr, owner of the Peoples Meat Market, said Brost is known
for his abilities as a mole trapper. Three years ago, her neighbor
to help her with a mole problem in her yard. When he was stumped,
advised her to get Brost on the job.
He said, We've got to get the best guy in town, she said.
Reprinted with permission of the Forum.