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Annette Slocomb credits “my second home” at the Saugus Senior Center as a key reason why she continues to enjoy a happy and healthy life after turning 100 today

Hanging out at the Saugus Senior Center-2
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  Editor’s Note: For this week’s column, we sat down with Annette Slocomb at the Saugus Senior Center, just days before she became the latest Saugonian to extend her life to the Century mark. She was born in Lynn on June 2, 1923, and was the oldest of eight children. She is a member of the Lynn Classical High School Class of 1941. She lived in Lynn all of her life before moving to Saugus about 24 years ago. She has a son, William Chapdelaine, from her first husband, who died suddenly. Her second husband died of cancer 35 years ago. She has two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Highlights of this week’s interview follow.

  Q: So, please tell me about yourself and some of the highlights of your life.

  A: I was born and raised in Lynn. I worked at GE for 16 years. And I did housework and helped old people, even when I was old. I have one son, William Chapdelaine, who lives in town, but mostly in Florida. My grandson, Marc Chapdelaine, is a lawyer in town. His office is on Central Street.

  Q: How long have you been driving?
  A: I was old when I got my license. I have been driving since I was 36.

  Q: What kind of car do you drive?

  A: I have a 2002 Chevy Prizm.

  Q: Please tell me about your hobbies.

  A: I cook. I make all kinds of cakes and stews. I knit and crochet. And I volunteer all of the time. At age 93, I quit working to help older people, because I’m old myself.

  Q: And you have family that looks out for you?

  A: I’ve been a widow for 35 years, but have a great family. My son William and his wife had two boys. One is Marc Chapdelaine, who is the lawyer. He has three kids. The other one is a mailman – Matthew Chapdelaine – who lives in Acton, Maine.

  I was the oldest in a family of eight and there’s three of us left. My brother, Larry Kent, lives in Danvers. He’s 87. My sister, Frances Pearson, lives in Georgetown, and she is 91.

  Q: Even though you are about to turn 100, you remain pretty active for somebody of your age.

  A: Yes. I still drive and I vote in every election. And I’m pretty active at the Senior Center; I’m over here mostly every day, either playing bingo or getting involved in the sing-along. I practically live at the Senior Center – it’s my second home. Almost everyone here knows I call it my second home. I play and organize whist on Thursdays.

  Q: What do you like most about the Senior Center?

  A: There are so many activities to do and people to see. You meet new people every day here.

  Q: Please tell me the most interesting thing about your life.

  A: I have too many stories to tell. Some are good. Some are bad. You know, you just have to keep going.

  Q: Do you have a favorite one?

  A: I went out and did house work before I went to work at GE. I cleaned people’s houses and took them to the doctors and the dentist and other places they needed to go.

  Q: What are you most proud of in your life?

  A: I can’t believe I’m going to be 100. I think they made a mistake!

  Q: What’s your favorite car?

  A: The one that I have, the Chevy Prizm. It’s an ’02, but I love this car. I’d say I’m a Chevy person. I’ve had an Impala and other Chevy cars, but I like this one the best. It’s small. It’s nice.

  Q: What is your favorite food?

  A: Shrimp. I love to eat shrimp.

  Q: What do you like to cook?

  A: I love to cook banana bread. If you came to my house, I would have given you a loaf from the freezer. I go shopping at the Market Basket in Lynn and get all of my groceries.

  Q: Do you have any advice for people who would like to live as long as you?

  A: Keep going. Just keep going. People get lazy as they grow old and they shouldn’t. Keep going and keep busy.

  The Senior Center keeps me busy. I love the girls here. They are all good to me.

  Q: Do you have a special diet?

  A: I’m a diabetic, so I have to stay on a diet. Diabetes and heart disease runs in my family.

  Q: What do you remember most about your work at GE?

  A: I was 19 when I went to work at GE. I remember soldering the thin wires in the helicopters. Every time I hear a helicopter, I hope it’s not one that I soldered.

  Q: Do you have any regrets or things on your “bucket list” that you would still like to do?

  A: The only thing is that when you get old, all your friends are gone. So, enjoy them while you are living. Time goes by fast and you don’t realize it.

  Thank God for the Senior Center, because we can call them for a ride if we want to go out of town to see a doctor. The medical van will take us.

  Q: Do you have any opinion on whether the Town of Saugus should turn into a city? That’s a local issue for some people.

  A: Don’t turn it into a city. It’s a nice little town right now and I enjoy being here.

  Q: Is there anyone you look up to as an inspiration?

  A: All of the people here are lovely. We all get along here, and the people in the office are especially nice.

  Q: Who is your hero?

  A: My grandson – Marc Chapdelaine – the lawyer. He’s there for me all of the time. His office is on Central Street.

  Q: Anything you miss?

  A: I used to like seeing plays. As you get old, you don’t want to travel anymore. I used to love to dance and I loved the old-fashioned songs. I still get to sing them and we dance here once in a while.

  Q: Anything else that you would like to say as you are about to turn 100 years old?

  A: When you are old, you take one day at a time and make the most of every day. I enjoy seeing my grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up. I just enjoy life as much as I can. I like to be with people. I go to church every Sunday morning at 11 a.m.

  Q: How are you going to celebrate your 100th birthday?

  A: On Sunday, I’m having a big party at the Prince, from 2 to 5. We’re going to have music. I’m hoping to see my friends. They’re all invited. Anybody can come.

  I’d like to see Mr. Crabtree [Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree], too. I don’t know if he’s coming. But it would be nice.

  Q: Well, happy birthday to you, Annette. We’re going to put your photo on the front page for your birthday. Anybody who gets to be 100 deserves that.

Annette Slocomb stands in front-2
Annette Slocomb stands in front of “The Tree of Life” wall at the Saugus Senior Center. She turns 100 today – Friday, June 2. (Saugus Advocate photo by Mark E. Vogler)

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