For Mickey Quinn, laughing provies his very own 'fountain of youth'.
Lakewood Ranch’s Mickey Quinn knows all about the fountain of youth.
The source of the energy that young people tend to exert comes from laughter, Quinn said.
“Everyday, having a laugh — that is the fountain of youth, that is how you stay young,” the 85-year-old said.
For a long time, he has associated laughter with drinking, as many of Irish decent do. He finds happiness with other things, too, of course.
“Wine, women and song, I’m too old for the women, but not the wine,” Quinn said, as he enjoyed a glass of Coors Light beer.
Quinn rarely misses the weekly get-together with his group of first responder and veteran buddies.
On Mondays you’ll often find Quinn at Wolves Head Pizza & Wings with the boys, as they sit around and reminisce about the past. Then he’ll do it again on Wednesdays, except at MacAllister’s Grill & Tavern on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.
Sometimes Quinn will carry around old pictures of himself in his walker, roaming around the bar showing the ladies the handsome, young man that he once was.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Quinn said. “I enjoy being with the guys on Mondays and Wednesdays.”
"Going out and talking to people, seeing them laugh, they're alive, too — that's what keeps me going"
Despite his health complications, nothing has, or will, stop Quinn from enjoying life.
"I'm just happy to be alive," Quinn said. "Going out and talking to people, seeing them laugh, they're alive, too — that's what keeps me going."
Quinn battles skin cancer, but that will never put a damper on his day.
“Old Irish guys with blue eyes get skin cancer,” Quinn said. “It’s a curse.”
Additionally, in April of this year, Quinn had a cardioverter defibrillator and cardiac pacemaker implanted into his chest.
Despite his recent medical procedures, Quinn still drives his Chrysler PT Cruiser around town.
In fact, he often makes the four hour drive, alone, to see his kids in Flagler Beach — Patrick Quinn, Kathleen Quinn, Colleen Whickman and Brian Quinn.
“If I couldn’t drive, my life would be over,” Quinn said. “You could start throwing the dirt in at that point.”
Quinn rejects all of the stereotypical habits of needy seniors, and often finds people his age to be rather annoying.
“I hate being old. I’m not old, there are a lot of people that are older than me,” Quinn said. “Two of my pet peeves down here is that old people don’t use their directionals (blinkers) and all they ever talk about is their hemorrhoids.”
Rather than dwelling on his age and all that has come with it, Quinn prefers to talk about other things.
“I want to talk about something pleasant,” Quinn said. “Something more fun, like women.”
Quinn likes to keep himself busy. When he’s at home with his wife Suzanne Kimberly-Quinn, he works on his autobiography. He has written 28 chapters about his life so far.
He quit high school when he was 16 years old because he wanted to be a New York City cop, then ended up getting his high school diploma when he was a 40-year-old.
That is OK, though. He makes up for lost time by going to school every winter, taking any course he finds interesting.
Last winter, Quinn enrolled himself in a basket weaving class and ended the course with four baskets he made with his own hands.
“I was the only guy with 14 old ladies," Quinn said. "I would bring cookies that I baked at home and stuff, and I'll tell you, it is a lot of fun. I’m going back for weaving again this winter.”
He also enjoys music, classical music, particularly.
Piano is his favorite instrument, but he thought he’d branch out a bit.
“On Wednesday nights I’m going to start taking harmonica classes at the Sarasota Comedy Club,” Quinn said. “That’s the kind of stuff that keeps you alive.”