(Pg. 3: Editor's Letter)
For the seventh straight year, the editorial staffs of AARP, The Magazine and People are proud to team up to bring you this, our AARPeople Sexiest Man Barely Alive issue.
Starting on page 52, you'll get an up close and personal look at this year's numero uno, not-a-wrinkle-out-of-place beefcake, along with 24 more of the hottest, hunkiest, most continent geezers and wheezers still drawing breath. (As in years past, all SMBA finalists are at least 90 years old, non-ambulatory and/or have a terminal condition.) Ladies, get ready. These mega-mature gentlemen's hearts might nearly be done beating but that doesn't mean they won't get yours racing!
As always, the job of winnowing the winners was harder than a senior smoker's arteries. Our process began by looking over the photos of literally thousands of incurably studdly incurables from around the globe, a group that, thanks to advances in medical science and technology -- and much to our tired eyes' consternation! -- grows by leaps and bounds every year.
After that, it was out into the field. Where we searched. Beat the bushes. Looked here, there and in intensive care. We scoured retirement communities, nursing homes, hospital geriatric wards, MedMarts and Miracle-Ear stores. We combed the myriad musical venues of Branson, Mo., the scores of Bob Evans restaurants between Sarasota and Miami Beach and everyplace offering anything for free.
We sought out and sized up the prone, the upright, the stooped and the scootered. And if you think we left any stone-ager unturned, consider this: One of our "Pops" stars is a neglected, housebound and bedridden centenarian who's kept hidden away in a small back bedroom of his son's house in suburban Denver. How'd we find him? Let's just say a little caseworker bird told us.
Of course, the proof is in the pappy, gummable pudding.
Victoria Syndeth, Special Edition Editor
(Pg. 52: Sexiest Man Barely Alive)
But don't think this year's top-ranked senile sexpot is just the sum of a few alluring parts. He's the sum of several transplanted and artificial parts as well. And whom do they all add up to? Lemuel Sheridan, Social Security's rambling answer to whatever the question was.
More dish? At age 92, Lemuel, a retired underwear model for the Sears catalog who's currently lingering in the assisted living wing of the Valhalla Retirement Village, isn't afraid to seductively flaunt what he's got. For instance, there's his one remaining original tooth, a tooth he couldn't stop flashing for our camera. And then there's the hospital gown he always wears backwards -- out of pride or confusion is left unsaid! -- that leaves nothing to the imagination. Which is not to say Lemuel is vain. Far from it. In fact, we had a hard time even getting him to talk about himself. In his disarmingly charming way, it seems he'd much rather make complaints to the nurses ... about the nurses.
Classic looks. Wakeful. Charismatic. Provocative. Selfless. Is it any wonder he's such a total hen magnet? Unh-unh. Mark this year's sexiest man's medical chart "DDR": Definitely DO resuscitate!
(Pg. 60: #9 Sexiest Man Barely Alive)
(Pg. 63: #13 Sexiest Man Barely Alive)
(Pg. 68: #24 Sexiest Man Barely Alive)
(Pg. 71: Close)
CONTACT BOB WOODIWISS: His column appears here the last issue of each month. His book, Keys to Uncomfortable Living, a collection of humorous and satirical essays, is in bookstores now.