Dec. 21, 2017 – Barton, WI – How often can you say that you sang the “Happy Birthday song” to someone who turned 107 years old.
This week in a cozy farmhouse in Barton, Clara Moll celebrated her 107th birthday. She was born in 1910, right after the coffee filter and paper cups were invented.
“Exercise is what keeps you young,” said Clara. She was making a couple laps in the dining room area. Thick white shoes, long strides and an aluminum walker for balance.
Clara bragged that at 107 she didn’t need glasses but she admitted her hearing was going…. or gone, but it didn’t seem to matter.
At 107 she was still loving life. “I’ve lost my taste buds….,” she said. Her daughter Mary, her primary caretaker, said that had been going on the past few months.
A big wicker basket full of birthday cards sat on the kitchen table. It was surrounded by sweet rolls wrapped in clear plastic bags, daily prayer books, and the latest edition of the Wall Street Journal.
“I’m going to live until 110,” said Clara confidently as she clumped with her walker into the kitchen.
Mary said that declaration can change. “Most often… we’re just taking it one day at a time.”
Below are some of the articles I’ve written about Clara over the years.
Dec. 18, 2015 – Clara Moll turns 105 and Happy 105th birthday Clara Moll.
“The biggest thing that’s changed on this block is the makeup of the family,” Moll said. “My husband died when he was 74 and he said, ‘Clara you watch, when women all go to work there will be nobody home to cook and there will be nobody home for the kids; you’re going to have hard times.’” Animated, Moll points out the window from house to house to house announcing she has dubbed the block “Divorce Street.”
Clara Moll is a pip! On Sunday, Dec. 18 the life-long Barton gal turned 106 years old.
She celebrated with family and friends. Pizza, her favorite, was the supper of choice.
We prayed and passed a plate.
Clara reminisced. She was prompted by her daughter Mary. “Remember in 1976 when you took advantage of the Greyhound Bus offer… 99 days for $99?”
Clara remembered. She traveled the U.S. and saw all her relatives. “Don’t get married,” she advised. “Travel.”
Meantime the group at the party tried to recollect where the Greyhound stops were in West Bend; the consensus was on S. Main Street in front of the Centrum building and outside George Webbs in the West Bend Plaza.
Clara touted “exercise” as the secret to longevity. She wore out roller skates and proclaimed she would “rather dance than eat.”
“Wiggle your feet when you’re sitting in a chair,” she said.
At 106 she said she feels fine. “I can read without glasses if it has to be,” she said. “But my hearing is going.”
A single-layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is placed on the table.
Three separate candles that count out 1 – 0 – 6 stand mighty on top of the chocolate frosting. “Believe it or not that number 6 was a 5 last year,” said Mary.
A little wax melting helped morph it.
A rendition of Happy Birthday …. “and many more” filled the warm kitchen of the old farmhouse on Salisbury Road in Barton.
Black and white photo courtesy Fuzzy Dunkel.