2015-07-23 / Front Page

Remarkable Lou Batori, still a downhill skier, turns 105

Lou downhill skied this winter
By Patti Brandt Of The Enterprise staff

LOCAL LEGEND Lou Batori, who will celebrate 105 years of life on July 31, relaxes in his favorite chair. LOCAL LEGEND Lou Batori, who will celebrate 105 years of life on July 31, relaxes in his favorite chair. Timeless Glen Arbor resident Lou Batori says there are three ingredients necessary for a long life: A good wife, only drinking the best quality booze, and picking your parents carefully.

And he should know — he’ll be 105 years old on July 31.

Batori’s wife, Judith, who is 96, does her best to keep up with him, and picking your parents is a no-brainer. As for the good booze, Batori is a martini man.

He plans to celebrate his birthday with a small, private party given by a friend.

Living into your second century has a downside, Batori said.

“Obviously at 105 you don’t have the same energy as when you were 55,” Batori said.

That means he only downhill skied two times this past winter at his usual place, Crystal Mountain in neighboring Benzie County, where Batori is somewhat of a VIP.

“They’re very generous and they have treated me with no charge for tickets,” Batori said. “I have a lifetime pass. Not a season, but a lifetime pass.”

He also has his own private parking place, which is the nearest spot to his ski lift.

Over the last few summers Batori has also ridden his bicycle, though not so much during the busy Glen Arbor days.

“Unless you’re out by eight in the morning it gets so busy it’s almost dangerous to ride a bicycle,” he said.

He says he’s living a quiet life now.

“If it wasn’t for my skiing we would probably be going south,” he said.

This week the Enterprise dropped in on Batori while he was having lunch with his step-daughter Leslie Burgess, who was visiting from Alabama.

Batori doesn’t have much use for television, saying “it’s a waste of time.” But he likes to read, though says his eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

He likes historical novels and has an affinity for British authors.

“It’s clean reading, no four-letter words,” he said.

Batori has been in local newspapers several times and said people often recognize him when he’s out and about. The Batoris have lived in their home in downtown Glen Arbor since 1981, when he retired from a long career as an aviation engineer.

The couple is well-known for their frequent cross-country trips on his Honda motorcycle, equipped with a sidecar for Judith that has a top that can be pulled up when it rains.

“My wife loves it,” Batori said. “When it rains she’s comfortable inside while I’m getting wet outside.”

The couple took their last motorcycle adventure just a few years ago.

Batori has a last bit of advice for a good life.

“Do everything within reason and sensibility.”

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