Mildred Rosser of Cleveland, Tenn., is 104 years of age. She was born in Boaz, Ala., in 1909, before electricity or indoor plumbing came to the area. Her father bought the first telephone in the area, and people from far and wide came to see it and say a few words into it.
There were eight children in her family, and they rode in a horse-drawn buggy to church, where all their social activities occurred, and to their one-room school. Later, when her father bought a Model T Ford, they felt as if they had moved into a whole new century.
This amazing lady is not at all what I expected. When I think of someone who is 104, I envision a frail body and a not-so-sharp mind. Mildred Rosser is the antithesis of that. Her daughter, Mary Ann Lowe, and I agreed we would meet for the interview at Anna Ball White dress shop at Hamilton Place mall. That is Mildred's favorite place to shop, and she and the late Anna Ball White were friends. She is equally fond of the current owner, Trish Foy, daughter of Anna Ball White.
Imagine my surprise when I walked in to find a very chic and attractive-looking lady wearing black slacks and sweater. Her gray hair was coiffed in an up-to-date fashion, and make-up on her relatively unlined face was soft and age appropriate. Most impressive was that her eyes were still dancing with interest and understanding. She was definitely all there in the mental department.
As we talked, I realized her major interests are family, faith and football -- or make that sports in general. She especially likes the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and the Atlanta Braves baseball team. Her fondest memory is of meeting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1945 came through her hometown by train. According to her daughter, Mildred's special talents are cooking and entertaining.
When I walked away, I could almost hear Mildred Rosser quote Robert Browning: "Come, grow old along with me. The best of life is yet to be." She makes getting older seem exciting.
Nell Mohney is a Christian author, motivational speaker and seminar leader. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.