Alta Sierra resident turns 108 |

Alta Sierra resident turns 108

Getting older hasn’t kept Alta Sierra resident Arthur “Rudy” Thompson from much.

Thompson turned 108 Wednesday, and within the last few years has published a handful of books.

He also only recently stopped driving, and not because he can’t, just because his son recommends he shouldn’t.

“I’ve got one year left on my driver’s license,” Thompson said.

When Thompson was born in 1912, driving automobiles was still in its infancy. Ford Motor Company was less than 10 years old, the Republic of China was established, and the Titanic made its maiden and final voyage to the bottom of the ocean.

As a 6-year-old boy, Thompson even recalls living through the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

“My grandmother had gone through it,” Thompson said. “She actually made it through the (Spanish) flu, but she got pneumonia. She actually died from pneumonia. It was caused because she was weakened by having that flu.”

Thompson recalled the local flu strain originating from an Army camp on his grandmother’s farm outside of Toledo, Oregon, where he was born.

“If I hung around the (Army post exchange) a bit, I could get a candy bar,” Thompson said. “They knew who I was. The soldiers would come over to the house and fraternize.”

“It’s kind of rare that someone has been around for both of these pandemics,” said Gary Thompson, Rudy’s son.

Gary, Rudy’s only child, has been up from the Bay Area regularly to help drive his father to and from doctor’s appointments since COVID-19 hit, and aside from that, hasn’t needed to help with much else.

“He even cooks for me,” Gary said of his father. “He doesn’t clean any more.”

A house cleaner comes by regularly to help with those chores.

Gary has also been helping his father write four books, a fifth of which is in the works.

“You get to the point where you say, ‘You know, I’m going to write some books,’” Gary Thompson said.

“’Water Under My Bridge’ is a true story of my life in the Navy,” Rudy Thompson said.

His works, “Olaf,” “Bouncing Rocks,” and “Water Under My Bridge” can be found on Amazon. His fifth book is in the works about a young boy’s life growing up on the homestead.

When asked what his secret to old age is, Thompson jokingly replied,

“I picked parents with good genes.”

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, or call 530-477-4230.

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