The graduate: You’re never too old to do something sensible

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The expression “you’re never too old” is usually reserved for seniors who do something they might be better advised not to do — jump out of an airplane, climb Mount Everest or buy a motorcycle. Greene County native Ruth Brown Ross did something sensible.

She finally earned her high school diploma at Beth-Center High School. That’s not so unusual except that Mrs. Ross is 92 years old. Talk about lifelong learning.

As the Post-Gazette’s Maxwell Radwin reported last week, Mrs. Ross, now of Tarpon Springs, Fla., dropped out of East Bethlehem High School (now Beth-Center in Washington County) when she was a 16-year-old junior in 1937 to marry Vance Ross of Clarksville. They lived happily together for 66 years.

She had one regret: “All my life, I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I didn’t graduate, and that bothered me,” she said. As a widow living with her daughter, she finally did something about it. Giving her credit for past good work, her old school said she could do a senior project to earn her diploma. She wrote an essay — and recorded it on video — about growing up in the Depression. Graduation was Friday and she’s a dropout no more.

There’s a lesson here for us all. In old age, before you jump out of an airplane or climb Mount Everest, take care of unfinished business. You’re never too old to be sensible.

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