Lula Gilbert Celebrates 112th Birthday
by Amanda Smith
Lula Gilbert of Macon, Georgia will celebrate her 112th birthday in October of 2012. Born on October 10, 1900 in Washington County, Georgia, Gilbert has lived through more than11 decades of historic events - that's 40,880 days of life.
That's a living witness to:
• The Wright Brother's first flight – 1903
• Robert Peary arriving at the North Pole – 1909
• The founding of the NAACP – 1910
• The opening of the Panama Canal – 1914
• The US entering WWI – 1917
• Prohibition and Women's Suffrage – 1920
• Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic - 1927
• The stock market crash and the Great Depression – 1929
• Roosevelt's New Deal – 1933
• The Social Security Act – 1935
• The start of WWII – 1939
Alaska and Hawaii weren't even admitted to the Union until 1959. Ms. Gilbert has lived through nine US wars (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Bay of Pigs, Panama, Persian, Afghanistan, & Iraq) and nineteen different presidents (several presidents served more than one term) She has lived through the 70s hippie and disco movements. During the 80s, she saw the assassination attempt on President Reagan and the first woman in the Supreme Court. She has even lived to see America's first black president in Barack Obama (Lula says she would like to meet Obama).
Lula is one of 12 children born to Ed and Gustann Poole, who were sharecroppers. She remembers growing up in Washington County and has been a member of Bold Springs Baptist Church since she was 3 or 4 years old. "Bold Springs is in the woods," she said, "Off to itself." She also said that she loves Pastor Robert Owens and Reverend Fleming, who preach at Bold Springs.
Lula married her first husband, "General" Bridges at age 13 and Lula had five children. When she separated from Bridges, she married her second and last husband, Gordon Gilbert, a widower raising his three nephews. Lula taught all the children how to quilt, can vegetables, and how to make potash soap. In fact, Lula's always been good in the kitchen, earning her the nickname "Cook".
Amazingly, Lula remembers the stock market crash of 1929 and says that, "the bank took all our money and we couldn't get it back." She likes all kinds of music, but when asked what kind is her favorite, she said, "the kind you shout to." Though she doesn't remember a lot, Lula remembers that her son Tom fought in the Korean War and that "he told me so much about the war."
Lula was a worker for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) during Roosevelt's presidency and when she was over 100 years old, she volunteered with the OAC (Older Americans Council).
From 2001 until 2007, Lula lived with her granddaughter, Catherine Morgan, in Macon. Then she lived in Pennsylvania for three years with her daughter before coming back to Macon to settle at Laurel Baye Healthcare on Coliseum Drive. She especially likes to sit by the window and watch all the cars go by and she still attends church every Sunday.
There will be a grand birthday party for Ms. Lula Gilbert at Laurel Baye Healthcare at 3pm on October 4, 2012, when she will enjoy a birthday cake that is tall and tiered, much like a wedding cake. After all, you gotta have somewhere to put 112 candles! Happy Birthday, Ms. Gilbert!