Tuesday, August 14, 2007

YOUR 15 MINUTES: Living History

Yone Minagawa, of Japan, kicked it on Monday at the age of 114 leaving Edna Parker, 114, of Shelbyville, Indiana to take over the reign as world's oldest person. At just 5 feet tall and 70 pounds, Parker is still able to walk. She is in good health and enjoys reciting poetry at the Heritage House Convalescent Center where she lives. God bless her. Isn't she the cutest thing?!?!

She was born on April 20, 1893. Weren't they still discovering continents back then? She grew up on a farm before becoming a teacher. She taught in a two-room school in Smithland for several years until she wed her childhood sweetheart and next-door neighbor, Earl Parker, in 1911.The same year, she graduated from Franklin College with a degree in education. But as was the tradition of that era, her teaching career ended with her marriage. She began the arduous life of a farm wife, preparing meals for as many as 12 men who worked on her husband's farm. Parker had two sons, both of whom she has outlived. Sadly, her husband died in 1938.

I called my 87 year old grandmother to tell her about this story and she said "She still walks?!? Amazing. But what's more amazing is the change she's been able to see in society." Reflective little one, isn't she? Anyway, just to put this into context - There were only 22 Presidents before she Edna born. Grover Cleveland took office for the second time the year she was born. Some other nifty things that happened in 1893:

  • Thomas Edison finished construction of the first motion picture studio
  • Ruldoph Diesel received a patent for the diesel engine
  • First recorded college basketball game occurred in Beaver Falls, PA
  • The Chicago World's Fair was opened to the public. It recognized the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the New World
  • Panic of 1893: Crash on the New York Stock Exchange starts a depression
  • Ghandi's first act of civil disobedience
  • First car license plates are seen in Paris
  • New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote
Congratulations to Edna! Here's your 15 minutes for your 114 years. I hope the Convalescent Center throws her a giant bash!


Devman said...

Man, this is crazy. She's like a living time capsule.

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