The Star-News


She recalls the rain

Sat, Apr 21 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Pena

In our quest for interesting people I did not have far to go to find Ada Osborn. For that matter one would not have had far to go to find her at any time in her life. For the past 99 years she has never lived further then within a 10-mile radius from where she was born.

We had a pleasant evening with Ada the other evening at her condo on Bonita Road. I had been invited by Gary and Sue Osborn, Ada’s son and daughter-in-law, with whom we have been friends and neighbors for many years. We were joined by Ada’s daughter Bonnie and son-in-law Neil Wolfe who live in North County.

The family is already making plans for Ada’s big day on Feb. 2 of next year. Friends and relatives will be coming to the party from as far away as Europe. Ada’s family, we understand, had their roots in Denmark and the family has always shown pride in that heritage.

Ada’s mother left Denmark and came to this country in 1904.  She married and the family drifted west settling in the vicinity of what is now Fourth and Moss Street in Chula Vista.  The family had some acreage and they, like many of their neighbors at the time, did some farming and chicken raising. That part of Chula Vista was to be Ada’s home until 1988.

Back in her early days, land in that area was inexpensive. One could buy a tract of land for as little as three dollars an acre. As a girl Ada did all those household chores that are expected of kids. She was one of seven children and her duties included taking care of those siblings who were younger than she. It was hard living, she said, but they made it.

Like almost every other child in Chula Vista in those days she attended the F Street School and then Sweetwater High School. She made many friends in the ensuing years, some who are still around.

Ada, although only three years old at the time, says she remembers the flood of 1916.  Her father was involved in some kind of rescue work near where there was flooding.

I have written of Charley Hatfield, the rainmaker, many times in the past.  At last I have found someone who was one of his contemporaries, in a manner of speaking.

In the early 1930s Ada met Aulman Osborn and they married and raised a family. One of the things that I am curious of in persons who were living in times past was what they did for recreation. I asked this of Ada and her son Gary was quick to respond. He says the family bought a 1937 Chevie and on Sundays would take trips all about the county. Ada remembers going to the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Santee where they had frequent square-dances, a fun pastime for anyone at any age.

I have an invitation to that 100th birthday party.  I will make all efforts to attend.  It will be a festive feast for a gracious lady.


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