World War II, the Nixon Watergate scandal, the civil rights movements of the 1960s and the jazzercise fad of the 1980s — Maryadell Boone has seen it all and then some as today marks her 100th birthday. While Boone has lived through some of the most iconic decades of recent history, throughout the vast changes Boone’s life has remained relatively the same.
“It doesn't seem like it's been a long time to me. The 1970s seem like they were yesterday and when you're living through the decades, you don't recognize the changes or analyze them like you do as someone who hasn't experienced them,” said Boone.
An upbeat individual, Boone has remained in relatively good health as she has aged. Despite the fact that she was constantly stricken with illness as a young girl, having everything from the mumps to the small pox, Boone has never experienced a headache. Boone attributes her good health to abstaining from soda, which she remembers becoming popular when she was younger.
“I tried it, I just never like it. That’s the only thing I can think of that I have done differently than most people,” said Boone.
Originally from Oregon, Boone met her husband Jim in Monterey where they resided for over 50 years. The Boone’s raised their children there before relocating to Turlock in the 1990s. As an only child, her husband's seven brothers and three sisters were not only entertaining, but the close knit bunch made for a memorable family life. Together they had three daughters, Mary Lou, Jane, and Lynn, and six grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren. Jim lived into his 90’s.
“I would say it was true love,” said Boone.
A memorable experience for Boone was selling fish with her husband in the hills of Oregon during the Depression period where she came across a beautiful home. Upon being invited inside, the owner bartered with the Boone’s for a puppy, a pig, and some canned mince meat pies for the fish. The grand home made an impression on Boone at an early age, not only because it was a cool reprieve from selling fish on a hot day, but the splendor of the home stuck with her.
“I remember that puppy too. His name was Ginger or something like that because of his color. He was awfully cute and would curl up in my husband’s hat,” said Boone.
This experience stayed with Boone as she lived in the same home for several decades in Monterey with her husband. Her time there was memorable and she often misses the climate of the coast. Moving to Turlock is just one of the many changes that Boone has experienced over the years but one thing that has remained the same is her love for crafting, knitting and crocheting.
When asked how she feels about turning 100 years old Boone said that she anticipates that it will feel the same as 99 did the day before, but there will be something special about the day: a birthday party with friends and family to honor her milestone and celebrate her vitality.