By PJ Martin
How many of us can look back on our memories from 100 years ago? Can you just imagine how many changes have taken place during that time?
Well, one special lady who lives in the Summer Shade community can tell you all about 100 years ago. This wonderful lady is Ms. Margaret Vibbert and she celebrates her 104th birthday on Tuesday, May 10th.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of Summer Shade this year, it is only fitting that Ms. Margaret Vibbert is crowned the “Queen of Summer Shade.”
During a visit, last Thursday by Laurie McMurtrey Butler, Ron Underwood, and Daniel Bragg taking a special item from Penny Page-Rush, the Queen’s Tierra was presented to Ms. Vibbert along with some flowers in honor of her milestone birthday.
When asked about her first memories of Summer Shade, she replied, “There’s a lot of things different in Summer Shade than there was when we moved here. There was 4 grocery stores…there was 3 doctors…at one time there was a chiropractor in Summer Shade.”
She remembers the post office being in several different buildings and that “the road through Summer Shade was gravel.”
“I remember the first car my Daddy bought, it was a 1928 T-model…you had to crank them. They didn’t have a battery in them. Of course, Daddy didn’t know how to drive and Arthur Gilpin taught my dad to drive.”
“When I first can remember we had a buggy…Dad swapped that buggy and got a surrey, it had two seats of course, and fringe on the top. I was old enough that I couldn’t hardly wait for Sunday to come so I could ride in that surrey to go to church.”
When asked if she could have imagined the things we have now she told about the first time she saw a plane.
“I was going to school at Randolph and we had built a playhouse. We drove stobs in the ground and had a fence around for a playhouse at school, and when the airplane came over we all ran out to see it of course, and I ran over a stob in the playhouse and tore my dress.”
She talked about the crank phone on the wall, “they had what they call a call bell. You could call one person and they could connect you to another line somewhere. I know Uncle Jean Shirley’s family had that call bell.”
Ms. Vibbert spent most of her childhood living in the Randolph area and moved to Summer Shade in 1942.
Ms. Vibbert has been blessed with extremely good genetics on both sides of her family. Her older sister, Leola passed away at 99 years of age and her younger sister, Lougene is currently 93 and lives in Indiana. Her mother lived to be over 100 and still cared for herself until a stroke a few months before she passed away. Her dad was 99 when he passed away.
It was a pleasure to talk to this lovely lady and we at the Edmonton Herald-News wish her many more years.