Vickers Recognized as "Ageless Hero"

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Ovid Vickers retired a decade ago, but he has never really stopped. The 74-year-old former head of the English Department at East Central Community College in Decatur has continued writing and teaching, even after he officially quit working.

"I never see myself as old, except when I look in the mirror," said the always cheerful Vickers. "And I always look and say, who is that person looking back at me?"

That person looking back at him hasn't slowed down, just like the 23 other "Ageless Heroes" honored by Blue Cross-Blue Shield Tuesday in Hattiesburg.

Each of them has kept going, despite retirement or aging, making a difference in their communities despite their growing years.

"It's amazing what these (have done). Their quality of life is so good. They remain so active and so healthy, it's amazing to watch," said John Sewell of Blue Cross-Blue Shield.

These ageless heroes were honored by one of their own, Hugh Downs, the longtime anchor of ABC's 20/20, who took part in the ceremony. He says it's amazing what people his age are still doing today.

"There's a difference in our environment," said Downs. "And our habits of eating and exercising that can make a real difference in how long you live and how pleasant your life is during that time."

Pleasant doesn't begin to describe Ovid Vickers' life. He says he plans to stay busy doing all he can for as long as he can.

"Just as long as I can do something for somebody, fine, and I intend to keep on going as long as it's possible," Vickers said.

Vickers said he hopes that is many years to come.


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