Gertrude Weaver died on Monday. She was 116 years old and was generally regarded as the world’s second oldest person. You can read her obituary here.
Some years ago, when she hit 110, I was traveling through Arkansas, where Weaver lived in the Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation Center, and got the chance for a short interview.
Me: You’ve been alive for parts of three centuries, since William McKinley was president, what was the biggest event in your life?
Gertrude: You mean like the end of World War II or man’s landing on the moon?
Gertrude: I remember when I clicked on my first banner ad! It was an amazing and immersive interactive experience. It shifted the modalities of my paradigm.
Me: So, you obviously love the digital world.
Gertrude: Really! An ad you can click on! I remember clicking on an ad for Bounty Towels…instantly I was transported to a site featuring Bounty towels. If that doesn’t give you a thrill, I don’t know what will!
Me: You’re saying a simple interactive ad was bigger than the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, more exciting than the first talking picture?
Gertrude: It’s awesome! It’s what keeps me going. I remember my first tweet. I think I wrote “lime Jello-brand gelatin in the lunch room! Noms noms. It’s cray cray and my lucky day. LOL J”
Me: Ms. Weaver, do you have any secrets for living a long life.
Gertrude: Yes, a simple one. If you have a beard, watch out for beard lice.