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Wednesday
Jul182012

Johnny Barnes at 89

I shot this footage of Johnny in his garden the day we met. He warns of the consequences of being grumpy.

Johnny Barnes turned 89 last month, so I called him today to find out how he's doing. I received the usual Johnny Barnes phone greeting ("Good morning, I love you, I love your family, this is Johnny Barnes.") and we had a nice chat. As to almost hitting ninety years of age, Johnny said, "I'm only 89. I'm just a little boy!"

Johnny was grateful for the birthday messages and cards he received from all over the world. As for the rest of his birthday, it was pretty low key. "Nothing special. Just ordinary. No cake. I don't need to put on any more weight. Just take it easy, you know? When you get to be my age, you gotta take it easy."

He's been having nice days at the roundabout, waving to commuters and speaking with tourists, many who saw him in Mr. Happy Man. "People from all over the world, they come to visit. They know where to find me, so I don't have to go to them! They come to me!"

We also spoke about gardening ("You've got to put work in it. You don't put nothin' in, you won't get nothin' out of it."), food (Johnny hasn't eaten meat or dairy since 1950, when he was warned it wasn't healthy for him. He loves eating bananas from his garden.), and relationship advice ("Tell her you love her in the bedroom, tell her you love her in the kitchen, tell her you love her every day!").

He's looking forward to another 89 years of health and happiness. His advice for the rest of us? "Keep it cool and keep it sweet."

-Matt