Mary Jane Turns 101

My grandmother, Mary Jane, turned 101 years old today.

She has witnessed monumental events and an endless fountain of unparalleled historical drama from the auto age to the computer age. She watched as a man (purportedly) walked on the moon. She has lived through 5 Wars, including WWI & II. She has witnessed the happenings and characters that will live through the ages including FDR and JFK, Mother Theresa, the Babe, Princess Diana, Elvis, Amelia Earhart, Einstein, Martin Luther King, Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.

The Titanic sunk, the Berlin Wall fell, the U.S. dropped a bomb on Hiroshima and the Japanese dropped a bombed on Pearl Harbor. The Wright Brothers flew, there was a Cuban Missile Crisis, women won the vote, there was school integration, the market crashed in 1929, abortion was legalized, presidents were assassinated, two were impeached and one African American.

She witnessed the birth of television and movies, penicillin, plastic, microwaves, computers, the birth control pill, the automobile, the cloning of sheep, and the birth of the first test tube baby.

Born in New London, he has lived a quiet life for the most part in Noank, Connecticut. She has outlived her husband of 63 years and two subsequent boyfriends. She has outlived all of her siblings and one of her daughters. At the ripe age of 95 she survived cancer.  She had 2 daughters that bore 5 grandchildren and has 4 great-grandchildren.  While she was recently moved to a nursing home so that she would have people to watch over her, she lived on her own in a single apartment since my grandfather passed in 1994. 

She used to play in a band with my grandfather and she credits herself with teaching me to sing. She is an accomplished poet….she wrote this:

There once was a man named Trent
Who wouldn’t part with a cent
One day met he a spender
of the opposite gender
and now he’s not saving he’s spent

She is a beautiful spirit and she never ceases to amaze me. Happy 101st Birthday Grammy Mary Jane DeWolf Crandall!


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