CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) _ Fred Clark, at 112 years old, says he's stopped drinking, but still chews tobacco and smokes a pipe occasionally.

Those habits, the Chattanooga man said Monday at a birthday celebration with his family, are ''the hardest thing to stop.''

''I feel pretty good,'' said Clark, who walks with a cane and has suffered some hearing loss but remains an active deacon in the Prospect Missionary Baptist Church.

A former carpenter, plumber, bricklayer and knife sharpener, Clark said he lived ''a pretty rough life'' as a youth before turning to religion.

Clark, whose relatives say they have Social Security records documenting his age, has a simple explanation for his longevity.

''The good Lord wants me to live this long,'' he said.