University City

100 Percent at 100 Years Old?

100 Percent at 100 Years Old?

Turning the big three digits doesn’t suck for everyone. Norman Smith reaches the milestone on Oct. 12. The former La Jolla resident is still tack-sharp and — other than the knee arthritis that put him in a wheelchair — isn’t falling apart physically, either.

“It feels about the same as 90,” Smith says in his apartment at the Seacrest Village retirement home in Encinitas.

The secret to Smith’s longevity is most likely genetic; his mom lived 105 years. “I picked the right mother, what can I say?” says Smith, who was born outside Pittsburgh the year America entered World War I.

He adds: “I’m still enjoying myself.” Since a greater percentage of Americans is reaching this...