When Alice Bucher, 103, was asked where she grew up, she winked and replied "I never did." - Ada Herald
When Alice Bucher, 103, was asked where she grew up, she winked and replied "I never did." (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)

ADA — 1916.

World War I was raging.

Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president Nov. 7 of that year.

And Alice Bucher was born.

She just turned 103 years old. And Alice, frankly, is as lucid as, well, I’d actually like to be. (And my wife would attest to that.)

Without going through the whole family tree thing (that would be for a novel), Alice, as just one example, has, count ‘em: 11 great great grandchildren.

I mean how often do you hear that!?

Until just two weeks ago, Alice was still living on her own in a house on South Main St. in Ada. That’s right, at 102 years old, she was still living on her own!

She recently tripped, broke her hip, and is at Ada’s Vancrest, at least temporarily.

When Allice turned 100, there’s a photo of her in the Ada Herald working on Randy Scoles local farm… outside… in the fields…

Amazing!

The key to her longevity?

Two-fold.

When she was asked where she grew up, she replied: “I never did.”

Clever.

She also attributes her long life to her faith, a good marriage, quilting, and an occasional beer.

And oh yeah, motorcycle riding — and even a bit of “motorcycle racing.”

Alice and her husband Dale were avid motorcyclists. They were also “high school sweethearts” at Columbus Grove High School (where she, in fact, did grow up).

They got married a couple years out of high school, Sept. 12, 1936 to be exact, and honeymooned on motorcycles touring Michigan.

They rode the old, and now iconic, “Indian Scout” motorcycle.

Her father, by the way, had a 1924 Model T at the time as well. (Ford’s Model T was the first affordable car for the average American.)

Once the rather extended Michigan honeymoon was over, the couple moved to Ada and Alice started working at the Triplett Company in Bluffton. The company made electrical meters, and such.

Alice worked on a rather large stamping machine for almost 22 years there.

Her starting pay?

“It was 26 cents an hour,” she smiled, sort of.

Alice would eventually be promoted into an office job as a secretary at Triplett, making considerably more money. In tandem with all this, the couple had three children.

The children thing started happening about the same time the couple decided to buy a home in Ada. One problem. They didn’t have the money.

So, wait ‘til you hear what happened next!

To be continued in the next edition…

*Note: Vancrest aid Abbie James conducted some of the interview with Alice for this story.