“Did you have forks and knives in the old days?” asks a little girl in a lavender dress.
“Yes, we even had spoons!” is the slightly winking response from her elderly companion.
The recent video from HiHo Kids, a YouTube channel where real kids try new things and talk to interesting people, features some of the sweetest kids meeting and asking an equally lovely 101-year-old woman a range of questions—from the serious to the slightly silly.
Meet Alice, a sharp, white-haired Philadelphia native, who’s sporting a denim shirt that has silver spiders and other bugs pinned to it, and who seems game for any question these kids throw at her.
She first sets the scene for what life was like a century ago. “We didn’t have radio. We didn’t TV. No telephones when I was a little girl!”
“They didn’t have trucks,” she continues. “They had wagons and horses pulled them. It was a long, long time ago.”
As a little girl, she played with the usual assortment of dolls and blocks, but she reveals that she liked “boys things, like marbles and tops” and that at the time she felt that boys were luckier. “I had to wear skirts and stockings, even in the coldest weather—they didn’t have slacks for girls.”
When your parents suck as grandparents That particular sartorial detail was a jaw-dropper for one little girl: “Girls couldn’t wear pants? That is not fair!”
During her lifetime Alice even worked in the war effort, serving in World War II, working with decoding and encoding machines. “It was very secret work. The officers had guns, they said if you told, they would shoot you dead.”
Later, Alice worked as a biology teacher at a college—which explains the bugs creeping up her shirt, she says.
Naturally, the kids want to know what someone over 100 does for fun. “Oh I am watching Olympics now, and I write books. I do puzzles, I enjoy email… And I even scrabble. Also, I try to get exercise every day!”
Alice’s vitality is some thing she’s quite proud of: “Some old people aren’t very well anymore,” she explains. “Some can’t remember things and some have to have someone help them. But I can do everything myself.”
“You’re really old, but you are really good at it,” says one boy.
Then the conversation turns serious. One child asks, “What’s the hardest part about getting old?” Another asks, “Are you afraid of dying?”
The answers to these innocent, curious questions make the video a must-watch.
While the video was made for entertainment, we hope those kids know what a treasure it is to get to meet someone ready to share such a rich history and amazing spirit.