The Corner

Fun with Age

In a post earlier today, I had a little fun with age, as I do in my column: Jacques Barzun became interested in history through discussions with his great-grandmother, born in 1830. Several of our readers have had fun with age. Let me give you just two samples. Here goes No. 1:

When my 71-year-old husband was a little boy he was told by his great-grandmother that when she was five years old she met an old man who had been a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War. On the British side. That’s almost incomprehensible, especially to someone like me whose four grandparents came over on the boat. (On boats, that is. They did not come together.)

And No. 2:

I visited my parents last weekend in Queens, N.Y., when my mom received a phone call from Maria Giordano [I have changed the name]. Mrs. Giordano is 103, and despite some 90 years in America, she still speaks with a very heavy southern-Italian accent. She had been working in her garden, and found that she was overrun with tomatoes. So “I’m going to send my daughter over to bring you some.” [I have rendered this in ordinary English!]

So my mom tells me, “Go open the front door. Mrs. Giordano’s daughter is bringing over tomatoes.” Sure enough, an 85-year-old woman shows up and tells me, “These are from my mother.”

Imagine being 85 and still running errands for your mother!

Bella, la donna italiana.

Sì, vero.


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