Woman Vallejo turns 101 – Times-Herald
On the wall is a framed photo of Evelyn “Lynn” Milas, 21, in her US Marine Corps uniform. Eager, smiling behind his blue eyes, and ready to tackle WWII missions that include repairing bullet holes in aircraft fuselages.
A few meters – and 80 years old – away, Milas sits confined to a wheelchair, holding a string attached to an alarm.
“I was young at one point,” says Milas. “It didn’t last long.”
Passing the milestone of the century and reaching 101 on Thursday is pretty much another reminder that Milas is old.
“I know. Tell me about that,” she said, dealing with a smile she often shared in a 40-minute interview on Wednesday.
Sitting by the TV – The “Andy Griffith Show” is a favorite – Milas shook the memory banks the best she could from her comfortable one-bedroom apartment at The Lodge at Glen Cove in Vallejo.
Yes, Milas confirmed, she was born on October 14, 1920 in New York City, “just under the Brooklyn Bridge.”
“I don’t know how I got so old,” she says.
Milas’ mother managed to live until the mid-90s, but her father “got by pretty fast” into his sixties.
“He had a difficult life. Raising three daughters and living with my mom, I’m sure it wasn’t easy, ”Milas said.
In fact, “My mom was a gem,” Milas said. “She couldn’t do anything wrong. She did everything to keep things together. She was one of eight children. She has had a difficult life.
Milas was asked about her childhood, a childhood that narrowly escaped the wrath of the 1918-1920 Spanish flu pandemic that ended six months before her birth.
“Oh my God, my childhood. It’s going to take a lot of thought, ”she said. “It has been a long time.”
Milas remembered the family home and the front yard. Two bedrooms only.
“My parents had the master bedroom, of course. My older sister, she had the single room, ”Milas said. “She was working and increasing the family income. They (her parents) thought they owed her a separate room. My younger sister and I, I remember, always lived in the living room. There was a sofa bed. It was our room. I remember it the most. I never had a room of my own. As a child, I shared a room with my sister.
And when Milas happily joined the Marine Corps, “what are they doing? They gave me a room with 96 other women all lined up in bunk beds. I had an upper bunk.
Milas quickly married her husband, Forrest, “So I shared a room with him. I never had a room on my own. It is my best and worst memory.
Milas said she enjoyed her military experience.
“It was a very strange time. The war had broken out and the women could come into service and I said, “I’ll go. It sounded adventurous, something new and something to do, ”Milas said. “Before that, I was sent to an office to do paperwork. I wanted something more exciting. When I heard they were asking for women on Mare Island, I said I would go.
There has never been a training camp, Milas said.
“They were like, ‘OK, it’s your job, do it.’ I was 21… 22 years old. I repaired planes, I worked on engines, I repaired bullet holes in the fuselage and we warmed the planes in the morning.
Yes, she warmed up the planes.
“Back then when you wanted to drive your car you had to go out and turn on the engine and it would warm up. The same with airplanes, ”Milas said. “It was a one-seater plane and the pilots were getting ready for their orders and you were heating the plane up. And when it had warmed up, we would go out and they would come in and take off to the Pacific because that’s where most of the fighting was. I enjoyed working on airplanes. It was a big job. It was nice to know that we have done something for our country.
When the war ended, “we were happy to come home, of course. I hadn’t been home for three years, ”Milas said.
She ended up in Vallejo after meeting her husband at Top of the Mark in San Francisco.
“I remember it very well,” she said.
Forrest Milas was an underwater navigator and he and Lynn had been married for 70 years.
“He liked it, being a submariner,” she said. “We used to go on trips whenever he was home, but he was gone a lot more than me. People would ask him how he had managed to keep his marriage for so long and he would say to them: “I have been to sea often. He was right. We have moved every two years to a new base. Spain for a while. We lived in Alaska, Hawaii. Almost everywhere in the United States. We have moved. “
Milas said her two sons had opposing views on their own childhood.
“A son told me how much he loved moving and the youngest said he was unhappy because we were moving all the time and he never had time to make friends,” said Milas.
While her son Kevin Milas, 65, is in Virginia, Paul Milas, 73, throws Lynn’s 101st birthday parties – a Friday afternoon and a Saturday.
It’s bound to be more festive than the 100, Lynn said.
“It wasn’t really a big event,” she said. “I celebrated with the family and didn’t give a damn about it.”
Honestly, Milas said, she thought “very little” about her 101 years.
“Getting older isn’t fun,” she says. “There are so many things you cannot do. I can’t walk because I had a broken hip. I was a hiker. I really enjoyed hiking in the hills. Now I can’t do this anymore. There are a lot of things you cannot do.
And fall? She has had her share. Growing old, she admitted, is not for the faint hearted.
“Every place on my body has a black and blue mark,” Milas said, adding that her eyesight “is not very good”. As for the audience, “It’s decreasing. Everything collapses.
Memories have reached a second speed. Living through many presidents, “I’ve always loved Reagan,” she said. “He was a favorite of mine. He was a good soldier.
And the crumb cake. It’s his favorite food.
Back to that 101 thing. How did you take care of yourself?
“I didn’t take care of myself,” she smiles.
The secret to reaching 101?
“There is no secret to being old,” she said. “You just got old. I don’t remember wanting to get old. It’s a surprise to me.
There was a time when Milas thought 75 was old.
“That was a long time ago,” she said, realizing, “I have no complaints. I’ve had a great life. I’m happy with everything that has happened. a good family and they have supported me all the way.
Today’s world worries him.
“There are a lot of things I think about when I listen to the news,” Milas said. “There are things that have happened that shouldn’t be. “
The threat of war – somewhere – is always worrying, she said.
“They are still talking about it,” Milas said.
It’s time to end the chat. Milas thinks of her two birthdays while she waits and that photo on the wall.
“If you had told me at the time, I would live to be 101, I probably never would have believed it,” she said.
What if we asked him to blow out 101 candles on a birthday cake?
“I don’t think I can do that. In fact, I know I couldn’t do that, ”she said.
A candle ?
“Maybe I could get that in,” she smirked.
Somehow, in 101 years at least Milas has never been arrested.
“They never caught me,” she said.