Portland man celebrates 103rd birthday

Art Hedman, 103, explains to KATU's Nate Bynum how he still mows both of his lawns. (KATU Photo)

Art Hedman has plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Not only is the World War II veteran turning 103 years old, he's doing it surrounded by an enormous family.

"You know I just wonder sometimes why I’m here that long. There must be some reason, you know?" said Hedman.

Hedman has four children, 28 grandchildren, 96 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren, 169 people in his family when you add spouses.

The World War II veteran is still the life of the party and gets around well; in fact, pointing to a walker in his Southeast Portland home, Hedman explained why it goes unused.

"I’ve got this thing too, and I’ve got a cane in the kitchen, but I’m not old enough to wear that stuff," Hedman said.

He bought his home near Powell Boulevard back in 1938 for about $1,200, and he still takes care of it to this day.

"I mow my lawn, both lawns, take care of my raspberries. I just rototilled a little bit," Hedman said of his backyard garden.

He's not shy about sharing his secret for longevity -- a simple recipe he keeps on notecards that he hands out to all takers.

"I have handed these cards now out for about five years, and I take this myself: it’s a solution of honey and cinnamon, twice, morning and night," Hedman said.

Of course, he has some other healthy habits that may also help out.

"I don’t know, I’ve always eaten well, you know. I like fruit and vegetables and that kind of food. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink and that all helps, you know," Hedman said.

Another of his favorite hobbies is a standing date with his daughter Lori, twice a week, to watch old episodes of "Gun Smoke."

On top of all that, Hedman served in the LDS temple two nights a week for 20 years until he was 98.

"In our religion, we believe we can be together in the next life, so, we're looking forward to that. I'll say we're going to need a lot of space," Hedman said.

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