100 years old and still counting on future harvests, this Rocky, Oklahoma farmer still works every day

Great State
Data pix.

ROCKY, Okla. - It's still late summer weather in Southwest Oklahoma.

Not quite planting time, but close.

Not quite the end of Walt Swart's okra row but close.

"They mature quicker the later it gets," he explains.

He's in a race to get the last of it before it turns woody, and before the deer and the raccoons can eat it.

"If I don't do it who's going to do it," he challenges.

Walt bought the farm in 1955 and he still comes out every day to tend the garden, work on his tractors, or pump fresh creek water to his fruit trees.

The critters like them, too.

Swart complains, "I never got a peach off that tree. The deer got to them before they even got ripe."

Born September 25, 1919, Walt was one of six brothers born to a German immigrant family,

"I just growed up," he chuckles. "That's all."

He 'growed up' walking to a one-room school.

Every one of the Swart brothers went to fight World War II and came back to tell about it.

Walt worked in the Oakland, California shipyards but couldn't wait to get back to the farm.

"You can't beat a farmer's life," he says.

Walt can add up his years any way he wants-

"Next week I'll be two 50s," he smiles.

-They all go to one hundred.

Coming out to the fields every day to work is his solution to a living a long life.

"It's exercise," he states. "So a feller can't quit can he?"

A tornado took his barn apart this spring.

Walt works on it a little bit each day.

Every year he plants another fruit tree.

The latest is peach.

The harvest remains a sweet expectation.

A visitor quips, "You're still planting trees. That's a hopeful sign for you."

Swart responds with another chuckle. "Well, it beats setting in a chair."

Under a clear, blue Oklahoma sky, man's labors are fleeting but not folly.

Walt Swart has been here long enough to know this land and the people who work it have been good for each other.

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