John Curry prepares to sail on his sailboat, Aztec, in New Jersey on June 2, 2023.
John Curry prepares to sail on his sailboat, Aztec, in New Jersey on June 2, 2023.

John Curry, 72, is a sailor at heart. Now retired, he spends all the time he can out on the water, enjoying the cool ocean breezes.

His girlfriend, Oksana, 49, who grew up in Ukraine and is of Russian heritage, often joins him.

When not on his sailboat he's thinking about sailing. Or preparing for his next trip.

As his son, Mike, told me, “I expect to hear he died on his boat one day.” Mike said that with a smile, knowing that that's where his dad is happiest.

John is a long-divorced father of three grown kids, a devout Catholic, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a former process research engineer.

He is also a leukemia survivor.

Having worked for companies like DuPont, WP Stuttgart and Upjohn, John's had his share of hard work, travel and making a decent income.

He now lives in Sayreville, New Jersey, in the United States, in an 'over 55' apartment building. His life is modest but rich, as he navigates the transition into older age. While he deals with back pain and other ailments that come with age, he is exemplary for his positive outlook on life and devotion to giving back to his community.

In his free time, John volunteers as an officer of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, where he is currently president of his local Conference, delivering food to families in his community and raising money for those in need. He’s transitioned into retirement with grace and dignity.

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How does it feel to be 72?

"By satisfaction, comparison, contribution, health, wisdom or wealth? I’ve had a taste of success by any measure. I have to say that my path has been paved by accepting opportunity rather than following a plan. I seldom got what I wanted but always got what I needed if only I contributed my best and enjoyed the ride. At 72 I pray for the strength to contribute, the humility to accept my accumulating limitations, and the patience to find the common good in any outcome."

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What do you look forward to?

"Sharing time, talent, possessions, culture, faith, and love with those I meet on my way."

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What is your biggest concern?

"Insanity! I’m not aware of any personal predisposition, but I’ve seen how paranoia creeps into the minds of the elderly and their caretakers, the poor and families, the politicians and their zealots when the needs of the most vulnerable are ignored. Let us have peace and let it start in me."

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Life expectancy 2023

United States

About the photographer

Ed Kashi


Ed Kashi is a renowned photojournalist, filmmaker, speaker and educator who has been making images and telling stories for 40 years.

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