What was the most important invention or innovation of your lifetime thus far?
The college students, who are all natives of South America, were amazed at the variety of answers they received from our residents. One of the most surprising answers came from centenarian, Bernie Dreyfus, who explained that during her youth there was no electricity in the home. That meant no refrigerator along with the many other modern conveniences we take for granted today. For Bernie, the most important innovation for a professional dancer like herself was the cinema. Bernie started dancing at the age of 17 and proudly she shared the stage with the likes of Betty Grable and Ginger Rogers which earned her a salary of $35 a week. At 102, Bernie continues to dance any chance she gets.
At 103 years young, Ruth Whysong’s childhood home was most innovative in town since it was the first to have a flushing toilet installed. What’s more, her family was also the first to get a “talking machine,” also known as a radio, and were able to listen to the first ever broadcast program presented by Ed Wynn.
The visit was certainly enjoyable for all the generations involved and one student described the experience as “a great opportunity because elders are like a book… they have so many stories.” Carlton’s Downtown Pleasant Hill community is looking forward to the next visit from Diablo Valley College’s International Students program and wonder what kinds of intriguing questions they’ll ask next time around?
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Content provided by JC Paleja