Mrs. Audrey Halcomb, resident at Emeritus at Stonebridge Ranch in McKinney, celebrates her 100th birthday today, Monday, August 22, 2011!
Imagine a world with no computers, no television, no microwaves, no cell phones, no dryers – barely a single luxury as we know it today. Apple was something you ate, not a company whose brand represents the ubiquitous computers, phones and music players of today’s world. That was the world that Audrey Halcomb was born into on August 22, 1911.
Ms. Halcomb, who looks much younger than her one hundred years, resides at Emeritus at Stonebridge Ranch where she plays bingo, card games, reads and enjoys conversing with other residents.
TSB caught up with Ms. Halcomb, and her daughter Elaine Wintory, a few days before the big birthday celebration, which took place on August 14 in order to accomodate family who attended from out of town. On her way to a manicure appointment in preparation for the birthday celebration, Halcomb, who was perfectly coiffed, appeared completely unruffled by her new celebrity status.
So how has Halcomb managed to live so long? With a chuckle, she replied, “I never thought I’d live to be one hundred. Some people say it’s because I walked every where when I was young – all the walking was good. I ate right and got plenty of sleep.”
Maybe Halcomb’s longevity is due to more than living right. Genetics surely plays a part as her sister lived to the age of 94 and her father was 95 when he passed away her daughter said.
Born in the wheat farming country of rural Pond Creek, Oklahoma, Halcomb talked about growing up on a farm where her family raised wheat and cattle. Halcomb was fortunate enough to attend college, a rarity for women in the early 1900’s. She attended Oklahoma College for Women and, upon graduation, got her first job teaching first through third grades in a one-room school house in Pond Creek.
What’s the biggest change in society according to Halcomb? “Everything is more liberal today,” quipped Halcomb. “We dressed differently. We wore hats and gloves to church. We didn’t wear pants.”
Wintory said the family has a photo of Halcomb on her first day at her new job. “She was wearing an ankle length dress with a little white collar. The dress looks black in the photo but it could have been navy blue,” she said.
Halcomb and her husband got their first car in 1935, but she remembers that she stopped driving in 1937.
“I didn’t like to drive. I’m cautious and it (driving) was scary,” siad Halcomb. “We lived in a small town and I walked everywhere.”
After marrying her husband Charles, the couple moved to Sand Springs, Oklahoma, where Ms. Halcomb continued to subsitute teach. She and her husband raised three children in Sand Springs. Charles, the oldest is a reacher at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Dallas resident Jerry Halcomb is an architect, and Elaine, the youngest, is retired and volunteers at Maine Gait and resides in McKinney. Ms. Halcomb and her husband lived in the same house for seventy years. Following her husband’s death in 1995, she moved to Plano. Her daughter Elaine helped her move into Emeritus four years ago.
Celebrating with cake, punch, and music on August 14, Ms. Hacomb, members of her family and other Emeritus residents welcomed McKinney Mayor, Brian Loughmiller, who opened the event by introducing the guest of honor.
Grandmother to six, and great grandmother to twelve, Ms. Halcomb said she hopes to live long enough to enjoy them. Wintory said her mother has not had any major surgeries and is in very good health and expects that she will continue to celebrate life for more years to come.