Louisville Magazine

MAR 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.19 41 Usually, no one in this group even orders a drink. Occasionally, one of them might go up to the bar with a line like: "Barkeep, give me the good stuff — water, no ice." As long as all five show, they don't need anything else. Vislisel, who once studied in a Catholic seminary (until he decided he "couldn't live without women"), talks of his friends with deep tenderness. "I feel sorry for people who don't have (this) kind of connection," he says. "It's a gift." Advancing in age can be an act of constant retreat — from work, from activity, from friends and family who die, one absence after another and, suddenly, isolation is the prize for longevity. Science has proved it, but, really, the playground first schooled us that friendship lightens the heart, that friendship guarantees some joy and security in life's unpredictabil- ity. "ere's so much evidence that social networks, having friends, even going into the grocery stores and knowing the clerks — those things, those links…are so important for health," Vislisel says, "I've invited a good number of people to join us here. ey might come once or not at all." Habig, an avid lap swimmer and Habitat for Human- ity volunteer, says, "e worst thing you can do is sit around and watch TV. I met someone once who said about retirement: 'You have to plan your loafing.' It's true. You have to keep involved, participate. I think they should teach people how to retire." Habig sinks another eight ball. "I'm the hero again," he says with a content laugh. Robinson, who finally did lower into that chair, reaches for his cap and jacket. "It's my witching hour," he says with a grin. I ask him the question every centenarian must answer. His secret? "It just happened," Robinson says. "I just got old." He trades his pool stick for his cane. "See you Friday," he says. Every Friday afternoon, the Four Dons and a Dave meet again, this time at Robinson's house for a "bull session." From 3 to 5 in the after- noon, they joke, argue and debate whatever topic arises. I ask what they discussed the previous Friday. Habig can't recall. Neither can Hussey. Robinson: "We talked taxes, Trump, and I talked basketball." Robinson makes his way to Diamond's double door, moving in inches, not feet, and stops to grab the new issue of LEO Weekly. He'll drive home, eat his dinner and, at 5:30 sharp, have his one highball of brandy. "Just one," he says. "I had more in another time." Later in life, the routines that dictate schedules — jobs, families — fade. Maybe even vanish. So there you are, wondering: How does this go? For these five men, it came together: Don, Don, Don, Don and Dave. 82-year-old Don Hussey 78-year-old Don Filmer 86-year-old Don Habig

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