Sylvia Locke Forrest at her 100th Birthday Celebration (Photo by Sandy Pomeroy)
On August 18, 2012, the family gathered around my mother, Sylvia, in Weymouth, Massachusetts, to celebrate her 100th birthday. For more photos of that day, please go to ForrestFotos.com.
The local newspaper interviewed her, and ran the following story about that interview:
September 5, 2012
by Ed Baker
It was a memorable year in the months leading up to Sylvia Forrest’s birth Aug. 30, 1912.
The Titanic sank four months earlier, and the disaster overshadowed the grand opening of Fenway Park.
“It was a big year,” Sylvia said as she relaxed in her room at the Elizabeth Catherine Rest Home a week before she became a centenarian. “A lot of things happened that year.” The rest home staff and patients celebrated Sylvia’s 100th birthday last Thursday.
Records state the Red Sox were playing the Philadelphia Athletics at Fenway when Sylvia was born. She was 6 years old when the Old Towne Team defeated the Chicago Cubs in the World Series two weeks after her birthday.
The championship occurred as the worldwide flu pandemic was beginning to take hold in Massachusetts, and the disease would eventually claim millions of people throughout the world during 1918 to 1920.
Sylvia said she remembers when Babe Ruth played for the Red Sox.
“I don’t remember much about him,” she said.
Sylvia said she clearly remembers loud cheers erupting in her Quincy home when word spread in her neighborhood that World War I had ended Nov. 11, 1918.
“We were all screaming,” she said.
Sylvia said her father worked with the YMCA in Europe during the war.
“He went there to show the boys around,” he said.
Sylvia said she grew up in a neighborhood where the late actress Ruth Gordon lived.
“I lived two doors down from her,” she said. “I knew her quite well. Her husband died not too long ago.” Gordon died at age 88 in 1985, and an amphitheater in Quincy is named in her memory.
Sylvia said she lived in Quincy for approximately 60 years before she moved into the rest home.
“I went to Quincy High School and graduated in 1930,” she said. “After I graduated from high school, my father took us on a trip to Europe.
We went across the ocean on a boat. That made it interesting.” Sylvia said the passenger boats during the 1930′s did not have all the comforts of today’s cruise liners.
“It took us over a week to get there,” she said. “We went by train to just about every country in Europe.”Sylvia said she visited Oberammergau, Germany, and saw the famous Passion play about the life of Christ that is presented once every 10 years.
“My father was very fortunate,” she said. “People did not know how he had money, but he saved it.”Sylvia said she met Edwin Forest of Quincy not long after her graduation.
“We married in 1936,” Sylvia said.
Two years later, the infamous “Hurricane of 1938,” struck on Sept. 21.
“I remember that,” Sylvia said. “You could not drive on a lot of streets. That was big.
That is something you won’t forget. Today they predict the weather way ahead and then it never happens like it is supposed to.” Sylvia gave birth in the years that followed to three sons – Allen, Steven and Andrew – who live in different parts of the country.
“My husband was in the last (World War II) war,” she said. “He was with General (George) Patton. He was tough.” Sylvia said Edwin died of Alzheimer’s disease.
“He lived into his 70s,” she said. “I took care of him but we had to put him in a nursing home. That was probably the worst time we ever had.
Alzheimer’s changes the person completely.” Sylvia said her secret to living a long life is having an appetite for TV dinners and a positive mind.
“I take care of myself and I have plenty of help,” said Sylvia as she nodded to her Ashley Fisher, a rest home coordinator and Diane McIntosh Arabia, a primary caretaker.
Arabia said Sylvia is witty and has a great memory.
“He wants to take your picture,” Arabia said as a photographer prepared to snap a photo.
“Tell me a joke,” Sylvia said.
Sylvia said she enjoys sleeping late most mornings and enjoying the company of the rest home staff and not having household chores to do.
“I slept all day today,” she said with a laugh. “I’m making up for lost time.”
Copyright, 2012, CP Media Inc. d.b.a. Community Newspaper Company. No content may be reproduced without the owner’s written permission.