Thursday, October 24, 2002

Blanche turns 101

Published in the Current

Smiling broadly after a serious game of Beano at the First Congregational Church on Black Point Road, Blanche Cook was treated to a birthday lunch Oct. 17, her 101st birthday.

“This is the best day ever,” she exclaimed to a group of assembled friends. “It seems as though I’ve had birthdays forever.”

Her secret is food. “I just eat. I’ve got a good appetite,” Cook said before sitting down to a cup of soup, a sandwich and birthday cake.

She grew up in North Pownal and then moved to South Portland and later Scarborough, said her daughter Lorraine Libby. For many years Cook hand-dipped chocolate for the Libby Candy Company. Her husband died in 1978.

She said she has had a good life and has seen a lot. “Everything has been invented since I was born,” Cook said.

She walks a mile in the Maine Mall each morning and plays Beano often. The week before her birthday, she won several games. Her friends didn’t let the birthday girl win on her special day, though they did surprise her with the party.

Cook, a spry woman who moves as if she were far younger, still travels alone. She will shortly go to Florida to visit her brothers, who are 95 and 98 years old.

“We’re all a hardy bunch,” Cook said with a laugh.