Before the airplane.
Before the atom bomb.
Before the Southeast Missourian there was Florence Poe.
Cape Girardeau's eldest resident celebrated her 110th birthday at Fountainbleau Lodge last week.
Her big day was indeed grand with a five-piece orchestra and a crowd of more than 200 people. It's hard to imagine the things Mrs. Poe has seen in her 11 decades of life. She has lived through so many of this country's ups and downs, through wars and depressions, through booms and advanced technology.
Mrs. Poe, a Farmington native, is certainly no show-off, although she never denies her age because she's so proud of how good she looks. But the number?
"It doesn't impress me," she said when asked about turning 110. "It's just another birthday."
With all due respect, Mrs. Poe, we at the Southeast Missourian are impressed.
Poe raised four girls during the Great Depression. She has nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, 10 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-great-grandchild.
Impressive indeed, Mrs. Poe.
Congratulations on your longevity. And we hope your 110th birthday was a great one.