Hugh-isms — Saramae Landers At 104

Saramae Landers photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt

By Hugh Clark

A poet I am not, so my offering comes as reflection of my admiration.

Sure our guest of honor is 104 – a wonderful achievement in longevity and perseverance.

But she is so much more than a very old lady. I have never anyone in their 80s or 90s to travel the globe, to be so active and involved and to participate as she does.

Yes, Saramae is a 104-year-old extra ordinaire. Her memory is intact, she is mobile and she can laugh and smile, all the ingredients of a quality life. As one nearing 70, I am astonished at her spunkiness and activity. Who else can say at past 100 they helped Santa Clause to retire by dancing with him at his farewell party?

Who else at 103 can visit Thailand with her daughter and grandson with a broad smile?Who else can be a sort of perennial grand marshal of parades from Pahoa to Honoka’a or speak out at a rally to promote national health reform?

Saramae and I share roots, sort of, from the farming area of Oneida County in southern Idaho where she was born and spent her early years and where my parents were born and raised to adulthood. We are both the products of the migration of poor Welsh folks to Utah and Idaho. Heck, we might even be distantly related.

A key to Saramae’s long run, I feel, is the loving attention she receives from her daughter, Sara Burgess. She treats her mom as a friend and companion, serves her well in caring for her needs and helping guide her through conversations, perfecting her recall with gentle reminders. An evening my family spent with them drew the full admiration of my sister, who marveled at their interrelationship.

So today I propose we share our well wishes and congratulations to both of these Saras and may this be just another sweet notch in a well lived long life.

(40-year newspaper veteran Hugh Clark is a fellow Big Island Press Club member, friend and mentor to the Big Island Chronicle.)

1 reply
  1. Rene Siracusa
    Rene Siracusa says:

    So where’s the photo of Sara Mae dancing the lindy hop at her birthday party? That’s a photo that is infinitely inspiring.

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