Sunday, December 31, 2006

Another year equals 104

Dec. 31, 2006
Telegram Staff Writer

She will turn 104 years old on Jan. 31.
Residing in an assisted living facility, Edith Guess of Temple said she isn't too excited about her upcoming birthday.
'I'm a shade too old,' Mrs. Guess said. 'And I'm just going to get older.'
But after a couple of her friends started teasing her, a slight grin contradicting her unimpressed demeanor.
'There will probably be a party with cake and candles,' Mrs. Guess said, pointing to a picture of last year's birthday party. 'They better give me every one of my candles.'
Born in Richport, Mrs. Guess said she became responsible for running her family's cotton farm when she turned 15.
'I raised chickens. I raised one sister and three brothers,' she said. 'It was just plain old hard work. I did everything. Keep the young ones entertained. Keep up with the clothes and the food.'
Mrs. Guess said she handmade all of her family's clothes, except for the overalls because those had to come from town.
The lady does not attribute her ability to walk spryly to and from to the constant physical activity of her youth.
'I wasn't exercising,' Mrs. Guess denied. 'Work. That'll keep you thin and hungry.'
She married husband Ernest C. Guess and later relocated to Salado. They had six children, 11 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
'I kept on keeping house and raising children,' Mrs. Guess said. 'Always work that had to be done.'
Her husband died when she was 80, and three of the six children still live.
Describing her husband, Mrs. Guess said he was on the road a lot because he was a trucker.
'I can remember having to fend for myself a lot,' she continued. 'But then again my memory's fading. So -'
The woman's attention was distracted by the photographer from the Temple Telegram. He had asked her if he wanted to see her picture on his digital camera.
'That's not me,' Mrs. Guess said. 'I can't see me. That looks like a cat to me.'
She giggled, then she tried to share a few more memories.
'The washing machine was a wonderful invention,' Mrs. Guess said. 'In WWII, Sears made the only one there was.'
Unsure of what to say next, she said she didn't live her life with luxury.
'I ate what I had. Plain food. Never watched enough TV to have a favorite show,' Mrs. Guess said. 'Oh I've I had so many memories, and I like everything I did.'
That statement quickly prompted another.
'Oh man, I can't tell you haw many things I wish never would have happened,' Mrs. Guess said. 'No bombs. No wars. Nothing bad. Oh what young people don't know about life.'
She yawned.
It was time for the hard worker to take a nap.

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