At nearly 100, Wilson marks 75 years selling cars, eats what he wants | Now

So how did Wilson get so lucky?

“Well, my mother and her sisters all lived past 100,” he said. “My mother was a Hopper and the Hoppers have a long life story. She lived to be (almost) 104 years old.

In fact, years ago, when the town doctor, the late Weldon Joyce, was giving Wilson a routine physical, he looked at the veins in his legs and said, “Damn it, Raymond, what I would give to have some of that Hopper blood. .’ ”

Indeed, Raymond’s veins were big. Not as wide as a garden hose, but impressive, he joked.

Indeed, Hoppers are known here to live long and for their large and strong families. And the cousins ​​believe Wilson is the oldest living descendant of the family in Rockingham County.

Uncle John Banner

Raymond called his uncle John Banner Hopper a “trick”.

“He had 11 children by his first wife,” he said. “After his death, he remarried and had 11 more.” And Hopper was known to woo women who were half his age, Wilson said.

He was a colorful character with great stories to tell, Wilson said.

Years ago, Hopper had a niece who couldn’t get married in North Carolina because of her young age. She ended up going to Virginia with the advice of Hopper who wrote the number 21 on a piece of paper and told her to put it in her shoe.

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