September 24, 1998
(This is from 1998, but we celebrated another in 1999)
We celebrated Louis Edward (Ed) Driver's 108th Birthday.
His 80 year old daughter went to the florist and ordered flowers for her dad's birthday, and patiently explained to the florist that no, she didn't want a spray for a grave, but a bright, cheerful bouquet.
I've had a call from the Costco bakery telling me they can't read the BIG BLOCK letters on the order form, and want to know what I want on there - I mean, it can't possibly be happy 108th, right?
His 85 year old son has been regaling us all with his stories of how he's a "whole new man" after 1 year of being smoke free after a multiple pack a day tobacco habit for 70 years.
The almost 84 year old daughter was there with her husband of almost 65 years, but not the 71 year old "baby" of the family who's living in Alabama.
I learned from it:
Helium balloons in combination with those sparkly prickly pop three before you know what's happening ceilings are dangerous to the health and well being of W.W.II veterans in wheelchairs in hallways of rest homes.
If you are a great-granddaughter who has not been to visit Grandpa for 10 years, do not be surprised if when you play the "do you know who I am Grandpa" game, that he will give up after ten guesses, and then after you tell him who you are comment that, of course, he didn't recognise you - you've gotten fat.
Commenting on how amazing it is that he sits, stands, walks and eats on his own at 108 will have him asking you just how many 108 year olds you have to compare him to.
If you ask him if you are tiring him out, he will tell you that no, being 108 tires him out, you are merely keeping him awake.
Visiting him yearly for his birthday and telling him how much you love him will bring a smile, but when the party is over and everyone is leaving, he'll reach out to his 17 year old great grandson who is his most faithful visitor and ask quietly and hopefully, "See you tomorrow, Matt?"
1994 ~ 104 years old
Louis Edward "Ed" Driver and his twin brother William are born in Two Rock, California September 24, 1890 to Edward and Esther (Shuster) Driver. His mother was born in Santa Barbara, California so he is a second generation Californian. California has been a state for 40 years. Benjamin Harrison is President (and there will be 19 - at least - others in his lifetime). Oscar Wilde writes The Picture of Dorian Gray. William James writes Principles of Psychology. Vincent Van Gogh commits suicide. It is the year that the Massacre at Wounded Knee occurs and the Brooklyn Dodgers join the National League
Others born that year are:
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
Ho Chi Minh
Charles de Gaulle
Jelly Roll Morton
1906 ~ 16 years old
Theodore Roosevelt is President
The Great Earthquake hits San Francisco, and Ed along with his twin brother and father take a buggy down from their home 40 miles North and help with the clean-up.
June 1, 1911 ~ 20 years old
Ed & Gertrude
Ed marries his childhood sweetheart.
William H. Taft is President
In two years, Henry Ford will start mass producing automobiles.
1920 ~ 30 years old
Taking the inlaws for a ride in the New Chevy
Woodrow Wilson is President
1922 ~ 32 years old
Four of five children
From left Nell, Ed, Gertrude, Marian, Ray, Ted
Warren G. Harding is President
1942 ~ 52 years old
Ed (L) with his twin brother Will
Franklin D. Roosevelt is President
1961 ~ 70 years old
50th Wedding Anniversary
John F. Kennedy is President
1972 ~ 82 years old
A visit in to the schoolhouse in Two Rock, California
written in Gertrude's hand on back of photo
"Eddy Driver's first school 1896"
Richard M. Nixon is President
June 1976 ~ 85 years old
Gerald R. Ford is President
1985 ~ 95 years old
Tending to the garden and orchard
Ronald Reagan is President
I'll have a recent picture here as soon as one of the folks who took pics at the birthday party this year sends me the promised copy.
Grandpa ~ Me ~ Junk Drawer