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what I do: Joseph Cordle Jr., 83

Retired Schoolteacher

It has my financial observations and a list of magazines I read. One of the notes says, "The market is most dangerous when it looks best, most inviting when it looks worst." True. Another one says, "Suppress dividends." I do this anyway because of my age, 83. I don't have any growth time left. One question asks are bonds better than stocks. People keep saying bonds are better than stocks.

It also has a recipe for coleslaw. It didn't work. God, it was awful, not good enough to feed prisoners of war.

I'm a retired schoolteacher. I taught chemistry and physics at George Wythe and Douglas Freeman [high schools]. I had the best of the lot. There were no nerds coming out of the schools then. [laughs]

When I used to teach, textbooks weren't really used so much as they were sold. I'd talk and my students would listen. They'd write down their notes, and I'd tell them to go home and write them again in what became their own textbooks. I could ask them, How fast will a body fall in a second? What about in 3.8 seconds? If they had a piece of paper they could tell me in a second.

Right now, I'm looking for a place where I can have a garden and a wood stove. I haven't found it yet.

I'm sort of a Luddite. I like the simple life. I'm waiting for the day when I don't have to see cars — just rabbits, ducks, geese and corn. I hate to drive. When I'd go to school at Douglas Freeman I would look to the west out Patterson Avenue and see three lines of cars undulating, and I'd think: This is madness, nothing but cars. If gas were 10 dollars a gallon people would pay it. It's psychological thing, like drinking all that water. You should drink eight glasses a day, but people seem to feel the need to drink eight gallons. It's symbolic nursing. That's what I think it is.

— As told to Brandon Walters; photographed by Scott Elmquist.

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