Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Airplane, 8; Titanic, 17; Gone, 115.

Kama Chinen of Japan passed away just the other day. I don’t know where she was born, but it was in 1895 and she was the oldest known person in the world.

Let’s pretend she could have been anywhere during times when big events were going on. For instance, when she was eight, she could have been sitting on a sand dune watching the Wright Brothers flying their airplane. The boys weren’t allowing anyone to go up with them, but the little girl was a witness to history.

In our fantasy story of Kama’s life, she sailed to the United States in the spring of 1912 at the age of 17. Due to the coal strike, there was only one ship sailing at that time, the new Titanic, so she bought a third-class ticket and hopped on board. Being curious and excited about the trip, she was on deck when things went wrong and was saved.

Our story continues as we suppose, at 23, her husband of one year went off to fight in the big war. It was tragic and she was widowed before 1920. She would remarry and have her 70th anniversary with five generations attending. Her oldest child is now 84 and her family tree has more branches than she can possibly remember.

She was about 52 when television came along and bought one; something like 110 when the nursing home bought a hi-def tv, which she enjoyed a lot. She told stories about having been on the Titanic and trips she took onboard freighters through the South China Sea. And that’s our pretend story of her 115 years of what she might have seen.