…and her husband Dean Edwin (“Ed”)

the following appeared in The Denver Post on November 14, 1975, and is a reminder of how important reading was to this family throughout their lives:


Next week is Children’s Book Week and we can think of no better way to signalize the event than to pass on to our younger readers the story of Grandpa Swift.

Grandpa, or Ed, Swift lives near Golden, Colo., and—at age 91—is cheerful, healthy and a champion reader of books.

Boy, can he read!  This retired Kansas and Missouri farmer whips through four or five Westerns a week.  He’s been doing this for 10 years which means he’s knocked off about 2,000 Westerns in that time.

Grandpa Swift lives with his son and daughter-in-law, Harry and Pauline Swift.  He keeps them busy finding Westerns.  He can run through a whole shelf of them in a few months, which means the Swifts have to keep borrowing from different libraries.

And you can’t fool him.  He can tell within a few pages whether he’s read a book before.  He doesn’t talk much about literary content (in the case of Westerns, who can?) but he’s been known to comment about a circumstance of the plot that reminds him of his youth.

Is there any danger Grandpa Swift will exhaust the supply of Westerns?  We put the question to Don Brower of the National Writers’ Club in Denver.  Brower said no—Westerns are a pretty substantial portion of the 40,000 books published annually in the United States.

So Grandpa Swift can read on ‘til he’s 100 or more (he’ll be 92 next month), giving inspiration to the rest of us.  And judging by the twinkle in his eye and his general good health, reading books may be an ingredient in a good recipe for longevity.

Anyway kids, during National Children’s Book Week it wouldn’t be amiss to reflect that if you can make it past 90 with a sense of humor and an entertaining book under your arm you’re not doing badly at all.  Read on, Grandpa Swift, read on.

Copyright (c) 1975 The Denver Post