INDIANAPOLIS–Bernice Bohannon, who lives in the heart of Indianapolis, is anything but urban. The day after she turned 111, Bohannon remembered growing up in Kentucky on a tobacco farm.
“We’d raise tobacco, cut it, cure it, pile it up and take it and have it sold,” she said. When asked if she’d ever smoked it, she said, no way. She left that to other people. “Let them have it!” She feels growing up on a farm had its advantages, especially during the Great Depression, which she says didn’t affect she or her husband much.
LISTEN: The Story of Bernice Bohannon
“We lived on a farm and we could grow everything.” She and her husband got married in 1926, when she was 16. He died in 1980, aged 80.
Monday was the day after her birthday. She sat in a wheelchair in her living room, hearing aid in, among an assortment of blankets and dresses that she crocheted, knitted and sewed. Her profession was seamstress and she’s self-taught. She still practices that profession.
Even though she doesn’t get around great and doesn’t cook much any more, she still lives by herself, with meals and help from the CICOA Council on Aging.
” I didn’t plan that. My grandson lived with me until about a year ago. He got married and decided he wanted to move. So, I’ve been living by myself.”
COVID-19 hasn’t rattled her. Bohannon says she is getting her shot this week.
“I didn’t know too much about it,” she said. She’s seen more world-changing events than most people.
When asked what the biggest event she can remember was, she said she remembers World War II being the biggest, even though she was alive during the first World War.
Bohannon has a nice, big flat screen TV mounted on her wall. She says she doesn’t watch it very much. She also believes people could do well to slow down a bit. When asked what she believes young people should know, she said it has to do with living right.
“The world is so much different, all the different things, all the little telephone things. They’re messed up to me,” she said.
When asked the old question that people her age are asked to answer, how did you get to be this old? Her nephew said her usual answer is, “To God be the glory.”
She amened that.