The sign proclaimed the occasion: Sally Link's 100th Birthday! Friends and family joined in the celebration at Asbury United Methodist Church Sunday afternoon, Feb. 2, 2014.
Wayne Howard News Journalist
1914: it was the year Ford Motor Company declared an 8-hour workday and said it would pay workers $5 a day for their work. It was the year Wrigley Field baseball stadium opened in Chicago. It was also the year Ms. Sally Link was born. On Sunday (Feb. 2nd), friends and family gathered at Asbury United Methodist Church to celebrate her 100th birthday.
When Sally Link was born, Woodrow Wilson was President. What would become known as the Great War (later called World War I) hadn't begun yet (it started later that year). It was a far different world from what we know today--and Sally Link has seen the changes first-hand.
Ms. Sally reminisced with us Sunday afternoon about her younger years. When she was born in southeastern Catawba County, only rich people had indoor plumbing. Ms. Sally recalled taking her bath in a #3 tin tub, turning the handle on the pulley to draw water from the well (her family later got a handle pump on their back porch--a 20th century innovation). Clothes were washed in two wash pots and rinsed in tin tubs. Nobody out in the country had a telephone, certainly not a television (that wouldn't be invented until years later)--even radio was a novelty when Sally was growing up attending Balls Creek School.
She married Hollis Link in 1939. For a while, they lived in the mill village in Boger City and both worked at the Boger & Crawford Mill. When J.P. Stevens bought it out, they went to work in Stanley and Ms. Sally worked there for over 30 years. New machinery brought changes to the mill and rather than move to the second or third shift, she left J.P. Stevens and came to Lincolnton to work at General Shoelace. She worked there for another quarter of a century, finally retiring when she was 83.
Hollis and Sally didn't have children until the 1950s. Their only child, daughter Cotty (Lytton) was born when Ms. Sally was 37. Asked to recall the happiest moments of her life, she said her wedding day and Cotty's birth were certainly two of them.
A huge crowd of old (and some young) friends came to her birthday party on Sunday. Frankie Rhinehardt, who worked with Ms. Sally at General Shoelace said she was quite an inspiration. Cotty told us about the time her mother visited Hollis' sister Kate, who was in the nursing home and had just turned 100. "She said, 'I just wanted to see what a 100-year-old woman looked like, so I'd know what to expect when I got to be that age,' " Cotty told us. Ms. Sally made 100 in much better health than her in-law. She and Cotty still go shopping when Cotty visits from her home near Greensboro. Ms. Sally also gets out with other friends. Her hearing is diminished, but otherwise, she's in excellent condition--far better condition than several of those who came to her birthday party on Sunday.
Longevity seems to be a family trait. Ms. Sally had six siblings. Most of them lived into their 80s. One sister made it to 94. Ms. Sally lost her last sister three years ago.
Hollis passed 18 years ago.
Ms. Sally walked about the fellowship hall greeting early arrivals, then sat and chatted with others who came to see her on Sunday. She enjoyed a piece of a beautiful birthday cake and posed for photos with Cotty and her great granddaughters Lacie and Korin Barker.
It was quite a celebration--and deservedly so. Ms. Sally is 100! To look at her, you wouldn't know it.
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