Life after 70, for Linkletter, is 80 or 90 public appearances
and 250,000 air miles a year. The relaxed but never retiring Linkletter
handles his various careers with such ease that he appears not to be working
at all. The enthusiasm he showed 60 years ago as a "mud
skipper" still shows when he is swimming, skiing and surfing with his
wife, children and grandchildren.
He is best remembered for his 25 television years on "House Party",
for radio's "People Are Funny", and for his best-selling book, Kids
Say the Darndest Things. Of course, the reason they say the "darndest
things" is because Art Linkletter is egging them on. Although he
has championed many serious causes and he certainly knows how to "act his
age", he has never lost the wide-eyed approach of youth. "No
one can keep from aging, "he says, "but there is no need to grow
old." With child-like curiosity for life every day, this relaxed
dynamo has shown young swimmers how to approach the intensity of life.
His success formula while doing exactly what he wants to do breeds confidence
Linkletter never dwells on his failure to be an Olympic swimmer (he made the
Olympic trials in 1932 but did not compete due to a bout with poison oak), but
rather revels in the enjoyment he derived from swimming. He was the
Southern California small college backstroke champion and record holder at San
Diego State College. Linkletter, a 1:07 hundred yard backstroker, was
also on San Diego's Free Style Relay and swam in the Escondido rough water
ocean swims. He was a YMCA camp swim counselor and a lifeguard at Delmar,
Lajolla and Mission Bay.