John Tune turns 100

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

John Tune of Manila turned 100 years old Sunday, Jan. 6. He was born Jan. 6, 1913 in Keyesport, Ill.

John Tune celebrated his 100th birthday at his home on Sunday, Jan. 6,

He came to Arkansas with his family in a team and wagon making about 25 miles a day.

"We kids slept under the deck," he said. "It was like a long camping trip. We stopped along the way and cooked outside. Those were the good ole days. We worked for what we got."

Mr. Tune has been around longer the eight hour work day. He remembers working from sun up to sun down for 50 cents a day.

"I had a double shovel and a mule named John and I took care of a 40 acre peach orchard," he said. "I made about $3.50 a week. During those days there were hundreds of people walking the roads with no work. I was glad to be working."

Mr. Tune has seen a lot of changes in his century of living. He remembers the first car he saw. It was a Model T Ford with a chain drive and solid tires. The purchase price new was about $400. That was a lot of money in those days.

A hunting accident in 1939 took one of Mr. Tune's hands. He was duck hunting and when he picked up his gun out of the boat, it went off shooting through his wrist.

"Today they probably could have saved my hand but we just didn't have the medicine we have today," he said.

Mr. Tune did not let that stop him from living a full, productive life. He has worked hard all of his life. He and his wife, Opal Flossie Elizabeth Masterson Tune, raised their children and worked hard together. Mrs. Tune passed away several years ago.

Mr. and Mrs. Tune enjoyed growing vegetables and for many years they worked together raising over an acre of garden. He passed his love of gardening down to some of his children and grandchildren.

"More people need to learn about growing their own food," he said. "We lived in times when we grew what we ate."

He didn't really think about living to be 100, it just happened. He has two brothers still living and they call him at least once a month.

Mr. Tune still lives in his home and cares for himself. He has sons who live nearby. His daughters are Shirley Davis of Leachville and Rosetta Brandon of Mt. Home. His sons are Patrick, Donnie, Jackie, and Kenneth Tune.

Mr. Tune has seen a lot of changes and has wonderful memories of the last century. More than just reading the history books, he watched it come about firsthand. He was there when electricity came into their homes.

"You are only as old as you feel," he said. "It's been a good life and like the song says, when I go, no grave is going to hold me down."

He celebrated his birthday at his home surrounded by his family. He is looking forward to spring, the time for planting.

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