A self-described “life-long foreigner to Adams County” reflects on a century of life in America –
Story and photo by Patricia Beech –
“The world is too beautiful and interesting a place to be bored,” says author Jay E. Minnich, who at the age of 98 has published his first book, “My Life Experience of Almost 100 Years”.
The 115-page autobiography is a treasure trove of poetry and prose, anecdotes and stories, commentaries and philosophical meanderings in which Minnich shares his often humorous and whimsical views of the world and modern culture.
“I am trying with this effort to send forward some of my learnings of common sense that I hope readers will note, and reflect on, and apply to their own lives,” he writes in the preface of his 31-chapter book.
Born July 3, 1918 in St. Petersburg, Fla., Minnich’s life history reads like James Thurber’s “Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. From Florida to Ohio to Washington D.C., he has worked as an FBI employee, a photographer, a newspaper reporter, a fighter pilot, and master woodworker, but there is nothing imaginary about his life or his world.
He gives the reader a glimpse into “the rear view mirror” of his memories: From his childhood during the Great Depression, to his years in New York City where he “courted” and won his future wife of 68 years, to the birth and untimely death of their daughter at age 26 from cancer – Minnich conjures the spirit of a gentler, more gracious time.
Now a resident at the Adams County Manor, he spends his days dealing with health concerns that do little to diminish his zest for living. Sitting on a sofa in the Manor’s lounge area, his long legs crossed at the knee, eyes bright behind his horn-rimmed glasses, he says, “We look so much, but see so little. Just remember some of the antique advice of our forbearers: Don’t forget to take time to see the dew and smell the roses.”
For more information or to purchase Minnich’s book call (937) 544-5349.