I Have Discovered My Fountain of Youth

By Malcolm R. Kallman | November 12th, 2020

97-year-old Malcolm Kallman on what keeps him young

Happy couple hugging, discovering the fountain of youth. Photo by Ocusfocus

Just what has kept Malcolm R. Kallman so youthful? He shares his insights in discovering the fountain of youth.

For hundreds of years, men have searched high and low, traveled great distances, endured many hardships, trying to find The Fountain of Youth, all to no avail.

There were lots of theories, but I don’t believe the legendary fountain, with its magical ways to restore everlasting life, ever existed. It was probably a figment of someone’s imagination.

As we are blessed to grow older (not old), there are some things we need more of than ever before.

Feeding Our Fountain of Youth

We can all greatly benefit from a warm hug, whether it be from a small child or an adult. It could be someone putting their arm around your shoulder. Even the family pet climbing on your lap and putting his paws on your shoulders and licking your face in affection, is therapeutic.

A hug, sometimes with a kiss, is a quiet form of communication. A hug can mean familiarity, love, affection, friendship and even sympathy. There can be emotional warmth with a hug, A hug can be a quick squeeze or an extended hold. The length of a hug in any situation is socially and culturally determined.

Doctors advocate that hugging is good medicine. I quote what one said:*

A hug transfers energy and gives the person hugged an emotional lift. You need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance, and twelve for growth. Scientists say that hugging is a form of communication because it can say things you don’t have the words for. And the nicest thing about a hug is that you usually can’t give one without getting one. The side effects – all positive – (1) increases levels of oxytocin, and (2) reduces blood pressure.

The experts agree that hugging was invented to let people know you love them, care for them, without having to say it. A hug is worth a thousand words!

Sometimes a hug is all you need to make you feel better. Each time I hugged my dear wife, Eleanor, I always felt better.

Sometimes all we really need is someone to wrap us in a bear hug and say, “Everything’s gonna be okay!”

After all is said and done, and after discussing the pros and cons, I have come to the unequivocal conclusion that:


Now that great big hug should be accompanied by a kiss, like a peck on the cheek, at least. You remember S.W.A.K. (sealed with a kiss)!

Kissing on the cheek is a common practice throughout the civilized world as a sign of friendship and respect.

Why Did I Come into This Room, by Joan Lunden, and three other books hand-picked for baby boomers

Admonitions From an ‘Old Codger,’ by Malcolm L. Kallman

A hug is not necessarily confined to someone with a zaftig body – although that would be nice. Men can hug other men – like father and son, brothers, friends.


[Now hold it right here, before you get any crazy ideas. This is not going to be a sex therapy lecture or a sermon the ilks of Havelock Ellis, Masters & Johnson, Al Kinsey or Dr. Ruth Westheimer. So get back up here and listen to me.]

So, my friends, what I am simply trying to convey to you is that a hug and a kiss can go a long way to keep you on the road of happiness and good thoughts.

In the meantime, keep thinking those good thoughts, be kind, show a little affection when and where warranted, and above all, be respectful.

This is part of staying young in mind and body. Age has nothing to do with it.

I practice what I preach, and I found my fountain of youth.

Hey, I’m 97, and I ain’t dead yet!

Malcolm R. Kallman

1 September 2020

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”

Sophia Loren

* Attributed to family therapist and author Virginia Satir

Sign up for Boomer newsletters

More from Boomer

The Myrtle Beach of My Girlhood

By Julia Nunnally Duncan | June 12, 2024

Painting a Memory

By Kathleen Sams | June 4, 2024

Leading with Joy

By Anne Shaw Heinrich | May 15, 2024