Fast Talk Crows Landing centenarians note birthdays
by Ron Swift for the Patterson Irrigator
Apr 11, 2012 | 608 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ron Swift
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There must be something good in the water down Crows Landing way. Not one but two Crows Landing women, both of whom are centenarians, recently observed their birthdays.

Florence Perry Cogswell turned 100 just last week, while Aileen Cabral observed her 101st birthday March 20. Each is in reasonably good health.

Florence Andrade was born April 3, 1912, in the town of San Braz on the Azorean island of Terceira. She had four older siblings. Her father immigrated to the United States when Florence was 3 months old and sent for the entire family in 1920. She remembers cobblestone streets, lamplighters and horse-drawn fire engines and milk wagons from her young years.

After being processed at Ellis Island, the Andrades headed to San Francisco, where her father had established a home.

Her sister Mary married a Crows Landing dairyman, and Florence would come to visit. That’s how she met and married John Perry on Sept. 21, 1929. She worked hard, raised sons John and Norman Perry, and during World War II served as a volunteer airplane observer for the Army Air Corps.

Her family has grown over the years. Her living relatives include son John and his wife Betty Perry, as well as one granddaughter, four great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

When Florence came to this country, Woodrow Wilson was our 27th president. Thus, she has lived through 17 presidents. She lives in her own rural home on property belonging to John and Betty. Her life continues to be very full, and she’s looking forward to the future.

And Betty comments, “Florence has been my Mama (mother-in-law) for almost 56 years. … I wouldn’t trade her for all the tea in China!”

Aileen Cabral, another longtime rural Crows Landing resident, noted her 101st birthday with little fanfare. She was born in Vallejo in 1911, the daughter of Luiz and Mary N. Cabral, also immigrants to this country.

The family moved to rural Gustine when she was young, and she started her education there at the Canal School. A move to Crows Landing put her in the Bonita School in that community, and she graduated from Orestimba High School in Newman.

In 1930, she enrolled in Armstrong Business College in Berkeley, and upon graduation went to work for the Bank of Newman.

During World War II, Aileen managed the bank’s Crows Landing branch for five years and eventually completed a career of 43 years in the banking business. She, too, remains very alert and active.

These two women bring to five the number of centenarians on our 90-plus list. The other three are Bertha Criswell, Helen Maring and Lawrence “Lodi” Harrison.

An Easter guest

Members of the Federated Church held their annual Easter sunrise service on the Cox ranch in Salado Canyon and were joined by an unexpected guest — a curious cow.

No word on whether Bossy was Methodist or Presbyterian.

More learning

Keeping my promise to further your education and thus make this column a “must read,” here’s the very latest in scientific knowledge.

n A goldfish has a memory of only three seconds.

n Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

n Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.

Just ponder that info for a week.

From the mail bag

Mr. Swift: I thank you for your effort in continuing our education. Do you plan on awarding a degree sometime in the future? — Smartie

Smart: I think that’s a great idea. You get an “A” this week.

Now that’s odd

In this week’s Patterson Past column, printed elsewhere in this issue , is a notation that 50 years ago, the original high school building was selected as one of three local fallout shelters to be used in the event of a nuclear attack.

That was in 1962, when the beautiful building was 47 years old. Then, 13 years later — in 1975 — the same building was deemed unsafe because of California’s earthquake law, and was soon demolished.

Were our California earthquakes considered to be more deadly than the Russian nuclear arsenal? Apparently so.

Email of the week Dear readers continue to send me emails, including this Easter message received just the other day:

A lady opened her refrigerator and saw a rabbit sitting on one of the shelves. “What are you doing in there?” she asked.

The rabbit replied, “This is a Westinghouse, is it not?” To which the lady answered, “Yes.”

“Well,” the rabbit said, “I’m westing.”

It made my day.

For the sports fan

Sportswriters worldwide breathed a sigh of relieve last weekend when Bubba Watson won the green jacket in the Masters.

Can you imagine putting Oosthuizen in a headline?

And finally…

Someone must have known that I like anagrams. You know, those word(s) that can be rearranged to spell other words. Here’s a couple that are choice.

Election results — lies, let’s recount.

Mother-in-law — woman Hitler.

And parents, just hang in there. The kids are going back to school on Monday.

• Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at

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