(In the video Father Mike Lacey, pastor of St. John's parish in San Lorenzo, congratulates Violet Rodrigues-Wade on the occasion of her 103rd birthday.)
The year was 1910.
An exotic dance called the Tango was becoming popular in the United States.
Haley's Comet streaked across the heavens.
And in San Lorenzo, Violet Rodrigues was born.
In 1943, she wedded Thurston Wade, now deceased.
Yesterday, 103 years after her birth, Violet Rodrigues-Wade celebrated with more two dozen family and friends.
A lifelong resident of San Lorenzo, Violet was Queen of the Holy Ghost Festival in 1921, earning her a hallowed place in a tradtion that endures to this day.
Her older brother, Ignatius "Nish" Rodrigues, also lived past a century, passing away in 2008 at the age of 102.
Among the celebrants at Thursday's party were other members of her extended Portuguese family:
- Ardis Rogers Merwin, who was raised by Violet's oldest brother, Allence Rodrigues;
- Ardis's daughter, Cindy Merwin and her son, Isaac;
- and four of Violet's cousins: Janice M. Cowles, Sheryl D. Kautz, Jean Almada Rogers and Arlene Almada Lopes.
As guests filed out of Mimi's Cafe in Hayward, where the party was held, the question of the day was how to outdo this celebration next year, when this grand citizen of San Lorenzo turns 104.