Final Word from Thursday, September 16, 2004





Those who have the chance to meet "cobbler" Thomas Bata, or hear him speak on the radio or TV, are struck by his cheerfulness and buoyancy. He's turning 90 tomorrow, but he's more active, alert and optimistic than many people who are decades younger. Junior Achievement, an educational foundation he brought to the CR in the early 1990s, is throwing a party for him at President Klaus' place, because Bata continues to be an inspiration for Czechs young and old. Bata told MFD that he'd like to live to be 99, which is a good number in his company's pricing tradition. In Marcel Proust's "Swann's Way," the narrator says of his aunt that she didn't ask to live to be 100, because she preferred to have no limit fixed to the number of her days. In this spirit, we'd like to see tomorrow's birthday boy reach at least 109, 119 or even 129, which are also nice Bata numbers.

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