In 1911, William Howard Taft was President of the United States. Stamps cost a resounding two cents. Indianapolis Motor Speedway held the first running of the Indianapolis 500 and Cy Young recorded a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 511th and final win of his career.
That same year, Alma Kahl was born — July 6, 1911, to be exact — 106 years ago.
The former Miss West Virginia University has lived in Portsmouth during many milestone, including the 1937 flood that ravaged the area that January.
She was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church and was honored in 2016 as the woman of the year. While she’s lived over a century, to Kahl, her age is just a number.
“106 is no more than turning 56,” Kahl said. “I really never considered (living) a century. That was far off for me. But to be there and to live, and to be 106, I look around at people and I think, ‘Well, I’m no different than you are.’
“I’m always older and a different age than other people, but I look at them and they don’t look any different than I do.”
Kahl said, among the biggest differences over the last century, have been technology and the medical profession.
“Everything’s wild today,” Kahl said.
Aside from her longevity, Kahl as traveled the world. She’s visited England with her husband Cyrus. She’s been to Scotland, where she had tea with Queen Elizabeth of England. She’s walked the Great Wall of China. She’s been to Hong Kong. She’s even traveled to Antarctica.
While she’s roamed the globe and withstood the test of time, Kahl said one thing has been the constant factor.
“I’ve been blessed with good health,” Kahl said.
As she celebrates her 106th year of living on Thursday, Kahl is going to have lunch with her family and close friends. Then her Hillview Retirement family is going to throw her a party.
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.
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