Downey's oldest resident turns 104Body: DOWNEY - Having seen the turn of the century twice, 104 year-old Ferne McCallister says, "I am happier than a lot of people, I have had no great misfortunes, and I am truly blessed". McCallister, having recently celebrated her birthday, credits her health service provider, CareMore, with her long life, explaining how they have taken exceptionally good care of her and have provided her with transportation to office visits. When one asks McCallister about her past, they are met with the history of a joyful woman who begins with her days on a Kansas farm in 1910 and ends with her present day life in Downey. While living on the farm, McCallister explains how milk was left on her door step daily for only 8 cents a quart and how men worked for about a $1 a day. McCallister states that she moved in 1940 to South Gate where she joined the Woman's Club and a Republican group, "on account of the weather". It was not until 1987 that she sold her house and moved to a condominium in Downey in order to better care for her health. In this new location McCallister enjoys dinner parties with her friends and attends church regularly. With a happy past and conviction to attending church, McCallister is proudly able to say, "God has been good to me."
What was it like in 1910? The 1910's showed an era of new technology and innovation. The growth of the previous decades had fostered an intellectual movement that allowed writers such as Jack London and Upton Sinclair to emerge. Meanwhile, the World Series, the jukebox, Henry Ford's Model T, and the Yellow Pages made their debut. Change within American culture was accompanied by new political development led by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt implemented what he called the "Square Deal" which called for new regulations on monopolies in order to ensure that the average citizen was able to become economically successful. Thus it can be noted that the 1910's showed an era of new accomplishments and hope for many Americans. -Stephanie Cobau
********** Published: June 19, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 9