Only about 350,000 people worldwide have lived to be 100 years old or more. Essie Foster is 102. Her 102nd birthday was Saturday June 27th.
She was born Essie Hill in mid-1918. World War I was still in progress. In those days, women--especially women of color--seldom had what one might call a career. Ms. Essie made her reputation as a church worker and homemaker. She was mother to ten children, eight of whom are still living. Among them were six sons who served in various branches of the US armed forces, truck drivers, teachers, a school superintendent, an international lawyer, a nurse, and the first black Miss Lincoln County.
In her younger days, she was active at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. Her Sunday dinners were a feast not to be missed. She believed in the power of prayer and told her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, "just keep on praying."
Asked what she wanted for her 102nd birthday, she said, "a new Cadillac!" 'But grandma,' one of her granddaughters replied, 'you can't drive any more.' "Then I want to wear a pretty pink dress," she answered. She was indeed dressed in pink when she greeted the family from inside the building at Lincolnton Rehabilitation Center, where she had to stay and where they couldn't go, on her birthday--and she was lovely as ever.
While the pandemic kept the family from visiting with her in the usual way, they gathered under the canopy at the front of the building and celebrated her 102nd through the glass. They sang "Happy Birthday" and she smiled. Through the window, she was looking at her legacy--and she was rightfully proud. Happy 102nd, Ms. Essie!
When Larry Dellinger started the Lincoln Herald in 2012, he knew the world had changed. He had spent over half a century in the newspaper business. He knew that the future of news would be the internet. By 2018, 64% of US adults said they sometimes got news from a news website or app, a percentage equaled only by television. Only 41% said they still read newspapers in print.
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