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Yuba City resident keeps busy at age 106
The family lived above her father's haberdashery on Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia. Young Edith Burt, now 106, liked looking into the cars of the elevated train outside the building's windows.
"The bedrooms were on the third floor," she said on Monday — her birthday. "My dad had a car. We spent the summers in Trevose. We weren't considered poor."
Burt had a few moments to relax in her apartment at the Courtyard, an assisted living facility in Yuba City, before being whisked away for her birthday bash in Grass Valley.
Grass Valley is where she last had her own house.
"She had been taking the bus to church and got her hair done on Fridays," said her daughter, Yuba City resident Suzanne Parker, 69. "She's always been pretty active."
Her family helped move her into the Courtyard, just over a year ago.
On Tuesday, a tiny Christmas tree graced a nearby table in her apartment, and greeting cards were strung across a large window.
Parker patted her mother's hand and helped her remember a few chapters from her long life.
There had been the stint at Wings Field, which, at that time, was a brand new airport outside Philadelphia.
"Howard Hughes had a plane there," Burt recalled in her still-thick Mid-Atlantic dialect.
She and her husband lived at the airport during the 1930s. Edith cooked for the pilots. Her husband, Harold, worked on the planes.
Then it was Texas, and eventually, Southern California.
Parker grew up in Colfax, where her parents eventually moved the family.
"It was pretty darn country, and she was pretty much stuck there by herself," Parker said of the Placer County community during the 1950s.
"They would walk huge herds of sheep from the Bear River to the train station and go right by our back door," Parker said.
"Remember the sheep, mom?" she said.
Burt did remember.
"We had fun watchin' 'em," she said. "We all got out there and clapped."
Burt has adjusted well to her new home, according to her daughter. She participates in many of the regular activities scheduled by the Courtyard staff, and gets visitors frequently.
Her neighbor from across the hall, Morrie Tanimoto, 92, stopped by Tuesday, as he does most days.
Tanimoto's own family still has orchards in Gridley, and he often comes to Burt's door bearing gifts of fruit.
"She eats kiwi every day from Morrie," said Parker, chuckling. "And she stays busy."
For 106, she said, "Mom's pretty tough."
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.