Do you have a lust for life?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2000

Along with that intense desire for existence that may flourish, do you have the stamina and strength that might take you well past your allotted time of four score and ten, all the while pursuing your vocations and avocations to the fullest?

Well sir, we know of such an individual whose life to date has met all the above qualifications, and the end is not in sight.

The gentleman in question is one J. Lester Brown of McKenzie, in South Butler County.

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He is a 95-year-old cattle farmer and by all indications he has overcome what for most folks would be insurmountable odds to resume his life-long cattle farming operation when he gets home from Jackson Hospital in Montgomery.

The story that led to his hospital stay is both frighteningly terrifying and fascinating. It could be classed as classical.

What happened to Mr. Brown follows.

In early October he went to the pasture at about dawn to make a routine inspection of his cattle.

He drove his pickup to the area, parked it and stepped down to what he thought was solid ground, but turned out to be an indentation in the ground.

Farmer Brown stumbled, fell and broke his leg in the process of dismounting.

Unable to move after the fall, he lay there, prone, and discovered he was lying in a bed of fire ants. The ants swarmed all over and around him for the 11 hours he was incapacitated, puncturing his body thousands of times.

Relief finally arrived late that afternoon when his daughter returned home from work and discovered with horror the pitifulalmost tragic situation her father was in.

The upshot was his removal to the Montgomery hospital whose doctors reset his leg, put it in a cast, and treated the wounds the poisonous insects had inflicted.

Now, three weeks later, he plans to return to his farm to fully recuperate, rehabilitate himself, and hopefully return to his "way of life", cattle farming, attending cattle auctions and maintaining his standards as before.

Anyone who can equal Mr. J. Lester Brown's lust for life, despite all the impediments he has faced over nine decades of existence on this planet, is invited to step forward and be recognized.

(Editor's note: Many thanks to Marjorie C. Joyner of McKenzie for relating the above epical report on Lester Brown).