The ultimate survivor, Paul Spaniola, is 100 years old. Paul and his family have managed to keep the venerable Paul's Pipe Shop in downtown Flint going, despite Flint's well-documented socio-economic swan dive. And as a Catholic school kid, I have to admire his cordial relationship with the local nuns, as evidenced by the photo above.
Speaking of Paul and nuns, the Flint Journal's Scott Atkinson relates this story in an excellent piece on Spaniola's birthday:
At the party at the pipe shop, his children recounted the story of when Spaniola was in the sixth grade at Catholic school and the nun told him he had to spend the rest of the day in a closet. There was one problem with her plan -- the closet had a window.
Spaniola jumped out the window and took off, making it back just in time to be let out by the nun, who, as the story goes, had no idea.
Now 100, Spaniola may stand as a living testament to those who want to break all the rules -- like staying in school and not smoking.