On the 4th of August in 1997, Jeanne Louise Calmet died quietly in a nursing home at the age of 122. She was born in Arles, France in 1875: before the invention of the light bulb and the phonograph, the airplane and the automobile. She took up fencing at age 85 and rode her bicycle up until her 100th birthday. She lived by herself until shortly before her 110th birthday, after she started a small fire in her house while cooking. She moved to a nursing home where she remained until her death.
She gave up a two-cigarette-a-day habit a few years ago — not for health reasons, a doctor said, but because she could no longer see well enough to light up and hated asking others to do it for her.
Every year on her birthday, Feb. 21, she regaled reporters with quips about her secret of longevity — the list changed every year and included laughter, activity and “a stomach like an ostrich’s.” Her most memorable explanation was that “God must have forgotten me.”
The French had their own theories about why she lived so long, noting that she used to eat more than two pounds of chocolate a week, treat her skin with olive oil, drank port wine and rode a bicycle until she was 100.
And of course, she probably took a photograph every Saturday.
On the Saturday of August 4th in 2012, the following photographs were taken, documenting contemporary life for the next generation:
And here are the long-lived submitters:
Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:
- Take a photograph on a Saturday
- Upload the photograph
- Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location
We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!