FARMINGTON — When asked about her long life, 102-year-old Grace Pert said that she figured she’d lived so long because God didn’t want her yet, and the devil didn’t either.
The newest recipient of the Boston Post Cane, Grace celebrated in a fun, light-hearted gathering at Woodlands Senior Living Center with friends and family on Friday, May 6.
The Boston Post Cane is an old New England tradition started by the Boston Post newspaper, where the oldest citizen in town is honored with the cane. A number of New England towns participate in the tradition. The town of Farmington retired their original cane, made of ebony with a solid gold head, a few years ago. They now present a replica, and the original cane is preserved in a case in the town office.
Farmington Town Manager Christian Waller presented the cane and spent time chatting with Pert, her family, and her close friend, Harriet Palmer.
Pert and Palmer have been friends since 1948. Over the years the two have shared in plenty of adventures and shenanigans, although they agreed there were some shenanigans they would not discuss. The two sat close together, sharing stories and memories of Pert’s life.
Pert has one son, two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She was born in East Hebron, New Hampshire, on October 5, 1919. When asked to write her date of birth in 2019 she wrote down 10/5/19, which evidently confused some folks because they thought she had written the current year when she meant her birth year, a full century earlier.
She worked in a doctor’s office until the 80s, and after she retired she cared for ‘old folks’, who were sometimes as much as twenty years younger than herself. Her family said that she didn’t obtain a driver’s license until she was 90 because she didn’t want to take the test again.
Pert lived independently in Plymouth, Massachusetts until she was 95 years old. She moved to Farmington about three years ago to be near her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
One of her favorite things to do, her family shared, is drive up to Cape Cod Hill to admire the view.
Admiring the sturdy make of the Boston Post cane, Pert said that she might not use her walker all the time now.