In one idyllic community in southern California, Adventists live 4 to 7 years longer -- and more healthily and happily -- than the rest of the country. A look at their diet, lifestyle, and philosophy
When Ellsworth Wareham was in his nineties, he decided that his house in Loma Linda, California -- a beautiful city 60 miles east of Los Angeles, Spanish for "lovely hill" -- needed a new fence. But rather than hire a contractor to install the wood fence, as most nonagenarians would no doubt do, Wareham went to the hardware store, bought the supplies he needed, and returned to dig some post holes. As Dan Buettner recounts in his book Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest, Wareham proceeded to put the wood fence up himself.
A few days later, Wareham was in the hospital -- performing open-heart surgery on a patient.
Wareham has had some extraordinary experiences. During World War II, he was a doctor in the Navy; once, when he was on board a destroyer near the coast of Okinawa, he removed the appendix of an officer as the ship was being tossed about in the middle of a typhoon. In the 1950s, he did pioneering work on open-heart surgery when it was still a new technique. On a U.S. State Department sponsored trip in 1963, some surgeons from Loma Linda -- including Wareham -- were with a team of doctors that brought open-heart surgery to Pakistan for the first time. And during the Vietnam War, the work that he and other heart surgeons did in Saigon was featured on the Walter Cronkite show.