Wednesday night wasn’t an ordinary evening at Nino’s Tuscany. Granted, there’s always a party when Irving Fields is at the piano, but this evening was special. The master of the keyboard, the composer of favorites including Xavier Cugat’s Miami Beach Rumba and campaign songs for candidates including Ronald Reagan and Rudy Giuliani had reached a milestone certainly worth taking a hearty moment to celebrate.
Irving Fields was celebrating his 99th birthday.
With friends, family, fans and well-wishers surrounding him, Mr. Fields did one of the things he does best- play the piano. He’s been known to say that he plays better now than he did forty years ago. Judging by his Hava Negila, he must have been a master 40 years ago because this performance was beyond stellar.
Having a chance to ask a man with eight Carnegie Hall performances under his belt, countless albums, and a cake with 99 candles anything about relationships and dating, I could only come up with one basic question.
What’s your secret to a long and happy relationship?
Make love every day! Of course, there’s more to it. You have to listen- really listen to your wife. Answer her back, and always remember the woman you fell in love with because she is the same now as she was then. Be sure to laugh together; make her smile and she will make you smile.
It’s important to enjoy each other. Take time to do that. Enjoy your family and the success you built together as a couple. That’s real important. Do it.
Even when it gets rough, remember the good and it will be good again.
Oh, and when it looks like you’re about to get into a fight, say something nice to distract her. Change the subject- that always works!
Seeing how he looked as his wife, Ruth, I knew that taking the opportunity to ask this question to man who is obviously still deeply in love after 55+ years of marriage was a great choice. Looking at them together and chatting with them left me with the impression that I had just spoken with a newlywed couple.
It definitely gave me hope that a long-term relationship is a possible as long as you have a partner that is in simpatico with Irving Fields’ advice and enjoys the concept of staying forever young.
And speaking of staying young, Mr. Fields provided me with his secret to longevity. If you follow his blueprint of 18 objectives, you might just be enjoying 99 candles on a future birthday cake!
Here they are- start today, and you can be just like Irving Fields (as long as you hire one heck of a piano instructor and practice!).
Irving Fields’ Secrets to Longevity
1. Have a sense of humor- you’ll never get ulcers.
2. Think before you make a decision. Look, think, and then do.
3. Be the first to say “hello” with a smile and a glow.
4. When in an argument, change the subject.
5. Be successful… Sell yourself…People will respond.
6. When you get up in the morning, decide to be pleasant to everyone.
7. Be thankful for the blessings you have.
8. Be happy about the success of others, not just your own success.
9. Don’t envy anyone. So many are worse off than you.
10. Travel is fun, important and educational.
11. Enjoy every day to the fullest.
12. Be a good listener, and you will learn something.
13. Eat four hours before bedtime and you’ll digest better.
14. Keep busy. If you retire, find a hobby.
15. Never make a decision while intoxicated.
16. When you like your work, it’s a blessing. Do it now.
17. Don’t compare people to the things you buy.
18. Do something good for someone today.
For more information on Irving Fields, please visit http://www.irvingfields.com and enjoy his performances at Nino’s Tuscany (call for performance times- 212.757.8630)