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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Modesitt looks back to her past, forward to her future

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Part 2 of 2

Mazo Modesitt turned 99 on June 7. But if you didn't know it you could never tell by looking at her. The kind-hearted, agile, energetic lady is very active and is a volunteer who's always trying to help others.

Recently Mazo talked about how the world has changed in her lifetime. Born in Jackson Township in 1905, Mazo attended Jackson Township No. 2 School. There were eight classes in one room.

"We talk so much now about children's health and worry about them. Back then, we went to a neighbor and got a bucket of water and took it back to the school. All 20 kids drank out of that bucket. We used the same ladle.

"We didn't have school buses that stopped at your door. Up through eighth grade I walked 1 1/2 miles to and from school. Three miles every day. We didn't think anything about it. Just dressed accordingly. Kids would congregate and walk together."

When Mazo started going to Brazil High School, it was too far to walk so she and one of her brothers drove a horse and buggy to their grandma's, who lived on south SR 59. After the horse was put in the old barn, Mazo and her brother walked the remaining mile to school. They enjoyed it.

Mazo was asked what she considered to be some of the best inventions that have come along since she was a kid.

"The airplane was good," she said. "I've done a lot of traveling, all over the U.S., Canada, Scotland and England."

There were other things she thought improved the quality of life.

"Educational facilities are better," she said. "Television is good but many of the programs on it are not fit to be seen. Refrigeration, plumbing. When I think back to how it used to be I really appreciate those things now."

But she misses some of the old ways.

"We were neighborly. We'd congregate and visit each other a lot. We're not neighborly like we used to be.

"When I was growing up my social life was through the church. We used to fix Sunday dinner on Saturday. Then on Sunday, after church, people got together and ate and talked and visited the rest of the day. You couldn't shop because all the stores were closed. You couldn't even buy a loaf of bread. We don't do that anymore. Now we just eat out after church."

Mazo said she felt sorry for children nowadays.

"The mom's working. The kids come home from school to an empty house, get a snack and watch TV. Many have become couch potatoes. There's not enough home and family life anymore," she continued. "I know things have changed and I'm not criticizing.

"I never had to live like that so maybe I'm just looking on the dark side. But it seems like children don't have much home life anymore. I feel sorry for them. I know there are many kids who grew up like that and are very successful. We have some wonderful kids. I'm not saying that at all. The kids from my church came and trimmed the shrubbery for my birthday. I appreciated that a lot."

Asked about her future plans, Mazo said, "I'm ready to die when my time comes. But as long as I'm here I want to be an inspiration to others. I'll go when the Lord calls but until then, there's still work to be done."

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