Turning 100 is Not for the Faint of Heart

arizonaThis month Arizona celebrated 100 years of statehood on Valentine’s Day. This special day was honored in grand style downtown at the Phoenix Convention Center with a whopping 1800 guests, among them; Wayne Newton, Sandra Day O’Connor, Governor Brewer and Esteban who all engaged and entertained everyone.
It was a birthday party worthy of any state in the union and it was appropriately called, Fandango, Arizona!
Celebrating the milestones of an early territory to statehood and then onto the next 100 years was no small task. The evening proved to be as colorful as the giant Grand Canyon backdrop that revealed The Phoenix Symphony Orchestra at the appropriate moment.
Co-hosts Robin Sewell and David Sitton were our guides through the state’s rich cultural heritage using entertainment and video montages so no one would get lost.  Our journey through the years was inspiring and at times emotional, just like any good birthday party should be.
The word Fandango was used by our early residents for a party, a gathering or just a dance. Its origins and use comes from many sources, but we can all agree it is a party. Turning 100 years old is an achievement whether it’s a state, a business, or a person, it can’t come easy.  A Fandango is in order and everyone needs to embrace and celebrate it.
The United States has the honor of having the most centenarians in the world, with close to 75,000 people give or take a few at any given time. Japan comes in second, after the last census with fewer than 50,000 living to be 100. There are three times more people living to this age then there was thirty years ago, which got me thinking how long will I live and what will I see in my lifetime.
Last I read there were over 750 people living in this great state over 100 years old and I wonder what in their lifetime has changed and what has remained the same. With all the technology and the advances in our everyday life no one could possibly count the changes or let alone even try.  We all know change occurs, but what stays static is everyone’s desire for a better life, a sense of purpose and humanity.
Arizona as a state or as a state of mind has championed many causes over the past few decades, its contribution to the United States and its residents has proved to be a lasting quality; what will the next 100 years bring? Thomas Jefferson said; “The care for human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”
So hats off to the State House, the residents and our own centenarians for a great start to year 101. For our  next Fandango I’m wondering what everyone will be wearing in 2112.   This is the view from here.

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