Almost as iconic as the architecture of the North Park Golf Course clubhouse is 100-year-old golfer Eddy Brazier, who plays nine holes there twice a week with friends. His only concession to age is his use of a golf cart; he quit walking the course at age 95.
By Kathleen Ganster
Edward Brazier Jr. keeps his fellow golfers and bowlers hopping, which might not seem so unusual in of itself, but Mr. Brazier Jr. is 100 years old -- 100 years and 8 months to be exact.
Mr. Brazier plays golf twice a week at the North Park Golf Course and works out several times a week at the Bodytech health club in Pine. In the winter months, he bowls weekly to replace his golf outings. And there is the stationary bike and stretch bands that he uses at home for exercise.
"If you live by yourself, you start talking to the TV," he said. "I like getting out so I can talk to other people."
The centenarian lives by himself in his Shaler home. His wife, Rita Morrissey Brazier, died in 2000.
Mr. Brazier was born on Jan. 5, 1913. He is the sixth of nine children and is the only one still surviving, he said.
Mr. Brazier grew up in Morningside on Butler Street and attended Morningside Elementary and a trade school in the Strip District, where he learned to be a machinist.
He worked for Heppenstall Steel in Lawrenceville as a machinist.
Mr. Brazier started playing golf when he was in his late 20s, but didn't take up the clubs in earnest until he retired at the age of 63 in 1976.
"That's when I started playing five days a week," he said.
Over the years, he has become a well-known and well-loved face at North Park. Known as "Eddy" by employees and other golfers, Mr. Brazier puts others half his age to shame, said Joe Dusek, a ranger at the golf course.
"He's just amazing. He really isn't 100-years-old in the way he acts. He really keeps himself in great shape," he said.
Mr. Dusek sometimes golfs with Mr. Brazier and is in his bowling league in the cooler months.
"I'm just amazed by Eddy. He gets around a lot better than guys who are 70 or younger," Mr. Dusek said.
Mr. Brazier said he played 18 holes of golf until he was 90, and then cut back to nine holes.
"A couple of years ago, I started using a cart and riding," he said.
Mr. Brazier said the game of golf has stayed pretty much the same since he started playing some 70 years ago, but the equipment is "a lot fancier." Another change has been the cost to play the game.
"It used to be $40 for the greens and fees for the whole year and now it is $60 for the greens fee," he said.
Mr. Brazier said he has a foursome he plays with each week and bowls with the same group.
"You wouldn't believe how many foursomes I've gone through over the years," he said.
Despite his age, Mr. Brazier has no plans on giving up his sports any time soon.
"I'll do them as long as I can," he said.
Mr. Dusek doesn't see his friend slowing down in the near future.
"No one is going to leave Eddy in the dust. He still beats my tail at golf every time," he said.
Mr. Brazier has two children, Ed, 71, who lives in Clarion and Pam Dmitzrak, 63, who lives in Shaler. He also has four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.