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Vintage Year

“As I See It,” a new weekly photo column by Pulitzer Prize winner Stan Grossfeld, brings the stories of New England to Globe readers. This week Grossfeld visited a centenarians celebration.

Fung Ying Chin born in Dongguan, China agrees that attitude is everything. She has six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Her loved ones wanted to make sure her tiara was attached perfectly before she accepted her award. "I don’t focus on the negative anymore. I focus on family.” She also loves the Celtics, and predicts she will see them win another world championship. “I will clap like crazy,” she says.Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

There was a celebration last week at the State House for 11 Bostonians in honor of their 100th birthday. They were all born in 1923, the year Calvin Coolidge became president, Louis Armstrong recorded his first song, and the “Ten Commandments” was packing movie theaters. The new Centenarian Society of Boston members received a proclamation from the governor’s office, a medallion around their necks, flowers, and a standing ovation. They continue to live in their local communities and stay out of nursing homes thanks to the support of Central Boston Elder Services and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. There’s wisdom to be shared at the century mark of life.


Branston Clark Jr. dons a top hat for this special occasion. Born in Uniontown, Pa., and raised in Belize, he loves to write poetry, listen to Bach, and enjoy New England snowfalls. He says the secret to living to 100 is to not peer too far down the road. “To live long, just go from one minute to the next second to the next minute to the next second and then you’ll get to 100,” he says with a smile. Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Christina Telesford, born in Grenada, with her great grandchildren Elijah Williams, 7, and Lilliana Telesford, 9. Christina Telesford has advice that her 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren probably don’t want to hear. “Vegetables,” says the former housekeeper. “You’ve got to try to eat them.” No drinking, no smoking, and a positive attitude is her recipe for life. Hate can be pushed away “by being kind,” she says. “Put trust in the world and pray.” Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

Nelma Penalver, a native of Cuba, was greeted by Sylvia Exantus, executive director of Central Boston Elder Services. Panalver started sewing at 12 and still likes to make gifts for others. “There are so many things I don’t like, but I can’t do anything about them,” she says. “The only thing I do all day is live the very best I can for everyone else.” Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff

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