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O'Handlen still going strong at 92

Duncan man gets his reward for finishing second in Hoops Challenge

When he filled out his Hoops Challenge bracket, his writing was a bit shaky.

However, when you grab William O'Handlen's hand and shake it, you can tell he's still a working man who is at home outdoors pushing a mower around the lawn.

"I mowed my yard yesterday and I mow her lawn," O'Handlen said pointing to his neighbor's house. "I love to get out and do things. If you can do it, get out there and keep going strong."

His weapon of choice is a power push mower.

"I've got a push mower," he said. "I'd probably hurt myself or somebody else if I had one of those fancy riding mowers. I'd more than likely crash the thing into a fence or wall."

Doesn't sound much like a man of 92 years and five months of age. 

"Don't get scared because I won't do it, but if I took off my clothes you won't find a wrinkle," the wiry Duncan resident said. "I try to stay in shape; makes it easier to get around and do what needs to be done around here."

So, just what are his secrets to leading such a long life?

"I don't smoke, no alcohol and I've never taken any illegal drugs," he said. "I guess that's how I've made it to 92 years, 5 months. You have to take care of yourself. I've tried to do that all my life."

His love of sports was found at an early age. Growing up in Wichita, Kan., O'Handlen grew to love Major League Baseball, listening to games at first and then eventually watching them on an old black and white television set. 

"Mostly I grew up following baseball and watching guys like Stan Musial, he was one of my favorites," he said. "We'd sometimes go downtown and look through the window of stores that had TVs to watch Cardinals games. Of course I loved to follow Wichita State, Kansas State. I've just always been a freak for sports news, or about anything for that matter.

"When I get the (Constitution) I'll read every bit of it each day. That's how I get my news, the local stuff, the national stuff. As far as sports go, now I really follow the Big 12, that's what I love the most, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State . . . "

That reading and watching hours of sports on the TV in his recliner is what prepared him to have success in the Constitution's Hoops Challenge contest this season. His bracket was good enough to win second place out of a field of more than 1,200 entries, earning him a check for $200.

This writer delivered that check Thursday to O'Handlen's quiet street in southwest Duncan. Standing in the cool shade of a big old mulberry tree in his front yard, we learned more about this amazing senior.

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