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Positively Upstate: Following his passions at the youthful age of 95

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Today, it’s not unusual for someone to work on a computer all day long. But what sets Mario Farina apart from most folks is his age. He’s 95 years old.

“At my age you don’t make any great plans,” he says, smiling. “When I make an appointment with a doctor I always say, ‘Thank you for your optimism.'”

Born in Schenectady in 1923 to Italian immigrants, Farina has been a Capital Region resident his whole life. A veteran of World War II, he’s worked many jobs over the years including with the American Locomotive Company, the Labor Department and RPI. He also was employed by General Electric for a number of years where he actually worked on some of the first computers ever invented.

“Computers were giant machines,” he remembers. “It took air conditioning to keep them going because they go hot very quickly. They burned out very quickly.”

Today, Farina isn’t letting age get in the way of what he loves to do which is write. Since retiring at the age of 90 he’s published 350 e-books comprised of short stories and 35 paperback books now for sale on Amazon.

“It keeps the mind active. It keeps the body healthy. It keeps you looking forward to things,” he says.

Farina says writing is his passion and will continue doing it as long as he can. He even has an RPI student come each week to help him ‘brush up’ on his computer skills. Now living in Troy with his partner and cat, Minnie, Farina hopes to show people that getting older doesn’t mean you need to slow down or stop pursuing new things.

“I have loved my life. So many important things have happened. The invention of television, the invention of computers, the growth of airplanes I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Mario Farina’s works can be found on Amazon and www.smashwords.com

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