How to live a long, productive life, according to a 102-year-old who just released his first album

Alan Tripp, 102, has just released his first album.
Photo credit: Lisa Schaeffer photography.

"I know I'm mad about you, and all but lost without you, and great affection for you I proclaim.... But baby, there's an issue — I just can't remember your name."

So goes the chorus of "I Just Can't Remember Your Name," on the 10-track album, "Senior Song Book" released in November. The lyrics are a humorous nod to a common pain point about aging. After all, the song's writer, Alan R. Tripp, is 102.

What's more, it's Tripp's first album.

"People ask me how did I live so long and have my mind clicking away," he told NPR's "All Things Considered." "The answer is you do not retire from something. You retire to something," said Tripp. "And your life will continue with any luck."

That's exactly what Tripp — who has had multiple careers, including as a radio news broadcaster, an advertising executive and a businessman — has been doing. Though, for the record, he considers himself "semi-retired," according to a promotional interview he did with his publicist.

Still, Tripp's lastest foray into music production wasn't entirely planned.

When Tripp was 99, he wrote a poem called "Best Old Friends" about the new friendships he had made at Beaumont at Bryn Mawr, the Pennsylvania retirement community where he lives. Marvin Weisbord, 88, who lives at Beaumont too, turned the poem into a song for Tripp's 100th birthday.

That song catalyzed the album. Weisbord plays piano on the album, and the two produced it at a local recording studio.

Marvin Weisbord (L) set a poem his friend, Alan Tripp, wrote to music for Tripp's 100th birthday. That catalyzed the album.
Photo courtesy Lisa Schaeffer Photography

Now that the CD has dropped (and is on back-order at CDBaby as of Friday), the centenarian is planning his next move.

"I was writing a book when this thing came up," Tripp told NPR. So that will be his next endeavor.

"It's a mystery book. I've written several other books, but never a mystery. So when I'm done with this, back to the computer and write that mystery book," Tripp told NPR. (Tripp published one book in 1992, one in 2006 and a third in 2015.)

Japanese longevity expert, Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, who lived to be 105, also said the key to a long, happy life was to stay active.

"There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65," Hinohara told The Japan Times in 2009.

From the age of 65, Hinohara worked 18-hour days, seven days a week as a volunteer and "love[d] every minute of it," he said. In fact, he volunteered until the last few months before his death on July 18, 2017, according to The New York Times.

Fashion icon, Iris Apfel, 98, is also still working. She released the book "Accidental Icon" in 2018 and still juggles any number of fashion collaborations, including a line with The Home Shopping Network.

"For me, retirement is a fate worse than death," she told Money in 2018 after her book release. "I've seen so many people, especially in a place like Palm Beach, who worked so hard in their lives, and they come down here cold turkey, and then one day wake up and they realize how vacuous their lives are now. I mean it isn't funny, I've seen it with my own eyes!"

Tripp seems to agree: "If you retire to slothfulness, believe me you'll be a slob," he said in a promotional interview he did with his publicist. "That's all that will happen to you."

See also:

This Japanese longevity expert lived to 105 — here's what he ate every day

95-year-old fashion icon Iris Apfel says hard work is her fountain of youth

Iris Apfel: 10 life lessons from a 96-year-old who is probably cooler than you

Jim Koch: Unless you're a sociopath, happiness trumps being rich

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Correction: This story has been revised to reflect that Tripp one book in 1992, one in 2006 and a third in 2015.