100 Years ago
The Vindicator compiled the following facts about life in 1911:
The U.S. population was about
93.8 million. Today it is 310 million.
A U.S. postage stamp cost 2 cents.
The average price for a loaf of bread was 5 cents.
A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist
Factory in New York City killed 146.
American historian Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu.
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen led the first successful expedition to the South Pole.
By Ashley Luthern
Many visitors to Campus Health Care Center on Colonial Drive have seen Moses Watson. He often sits outside when the weather’s nice and chats with passers-by, sharing stories about his life that has spanned a century.
On Tuesday, friends, extended family, center residents and employees gathered at a party to celebrate Watson’s 100th birthday.
Dressed in a suit and tie, with a party hat perched atop his head, Watson made a wish before blowing out his candles one-by-one.
“I wish everyone could live as long as I have,” said the South Carolina native.
The first time Harold Brown met Watson, he was sitting on the front porch.
“Moses said, ‘I just turned 98 years old,’ and I said, ‘God bless you, young man.’ And he said, ‘God’s been blessing me all the time,’” Brown said.
Brown, who comes to the center and cuts Watson’s hair, said the two often sit and talk for hours.
“Everybody loves him,” Brown said. “And he never complains.”
Watson said the secret to his long life is “always working hard.” He worked in a peanut factory and later for a railroad company. He also served in the civil service division of the Navy.
And the most important lesson he’s learned?
“Not to talk too much,” he said with a smile.
Watson is an inspiration to others, said Mark Meszaros, a fellow resident at Campus Health Care Center.
“He’s more aware than some people younger than him. He’ll sit on the front porch and watch exactly what’s going on. He tells us stories and talks about peanut farming,” Meszaros.
The party, planned by activity director Marsha Kirker, featured cake, balloons, party hats and gifts. David Pasco serenaded the crowd with Elvis songs.
“We do celebrate all residents’ birthdays here, but this one is extra special,” said Carla Chahine, the center’s marketing director.
Even with all the party decorations, Watson was still the center of attention.
“He’s inspiring,” Meszaros said. “Look at him. He’s the best.”