Nathan Fisher, a resident of Smyrna, turned 100 on Tuesday and to celebrate he attended his weekly tae chi class at Rigby's Karate in Dover, where he and the other members of the class did 100 of 150 tai chi postures, in honor of Fisher's centennial.
When Nathan Fisher was born, Woodrow Wilson was president, women could not vote and for the first time, prizes were being put in Cracker Jack boxes.
In 100 years, Fisher has lived to see a lot, but you would never know it.
"There are changes constantly, small changes," he said.
Fisher turned 100 on Tuesday and to celebrate he attended his weekly tae chi class at Rigby's Karate in Dover, where he and the other members of the class did 100 of 150 tai chi postures, in honor of Fisher's centennial.
Fisher has been doing tai chi for the past 20 years. He picked it up when he was out in Berkley, Calif. staying with his daughter. He practiced short-form tai chi, which is only 37 poses, on and off for months.
In 2000 Fisher, who is originally from Baltimore, moved to Smyrna with his wife, who he was married to for almost 60 years prior to her death in 2002, and his grandson. Several years after the move he enrolled in tai chi classes at Rigby's, where he learned long form tai chi, which is 150 postures, all of which are memorized.
According to Rigby's Karate owners Reese and Judy Rigby, Fisher is an inspiration to others in the class.
"I think he's made us think that getting to that age won't be so bad," said Reese.
"He teaches everyone to keep going, to keep active," added Judy.
According to the Rigbys, Fisher does things that would be impressive for a man 20 years his junior, everything from kicks to standing on one leg. Fisher said one of the reasons that he enjoys tai chi is because it helps with his arthritis.
"It just feels so good when you do it," Fisher said.
Fisher said that tai chi has also helped his mind, and the Rigbys chalk that up to the focus that is required to do tae chi.
Fisher spent his career as a civil engineer and, but despite the discipline required to practice tai chi, he makes no bones about enjoying his retirement.
"I guess it's all leisure now," he said with a smile "I do a lot of reading."
But the Reese said Fisher still does his share of hard work. He told a story about how, at 94, Fisher came into class late and apologized for his tardiness by explaining that he had to shovel the snow from his driveway in order to make it to class.
Fisher has a very down-to-earth attitude when it comes to celebrating the century mark.
"I don't think about it too much," he said. "It's just another day."
But that humbleness didn't stop Fisher from celebrating in style, arriving at Tuesday's class in a limo. Inside, he was presented with a shirt that said "I'm 100, see what tai chi can do." After they performed their 100 postures, Reese presented Fisher with letters of congratulations from Sen. Tom Carper, Gov. Jack Markell and from the karate studio itself. Dover City Councilman James Hutchison was on hand to wish Fisher a happy birthday.
After all the presentations Fisher blew out the candles on a birthday cake that read "1913: A very good year."
Fisher then planned to travel to his native Baltimore to celebrate the milestone with his family, some of whom are coming from as far away as Arizona.