Centenarian Profile

Bernice Madigan

Age: 115
Born: July 24, 1899
Chesire, MA
United States
In the last 100 years, what invention had the most impact on your life? Why? 
Cars and planes were the most important inventions in the time of the horse and buggy days. I learned how to drive and get myself around. My first car was a 1918 Hudson.
What was your favorite decade? Why? 
The 1920s. I left home at 18 and moved to Washington DC. I met my husband there, had two or three jobs I liked working for the Treasury Department and Veterans Affairs. I traveled when I got vacation from work. I appreciated what I had. I had a new job (which paid $1000 per year) and it was all new to me. I like classical music but when the rag time came in, I loved that, I played that pretty good. Had a lot of fun with it anyway. Remember the song Gloworm? When I found out I could play that I played that at a lot of parties.
What advice would you give to a high school graduate today? 
Where they can, go to college and work hard at it. Have a goal on what you want to do and where you want to go.
What is the most important lesson you learned in your life? 
I think the most important thing is to have a positive attitude about things. Don't take anything for granted. I think attitude is the most important thing. Kids have got to learn to have a positive attitude about things and just work for it.
What leader in the past century impressed you the most? Why? 
Eisenhower and Reagan. Reagan accomplished more for the government. Eisenhower I thought was very good in some ways in the White House. I liked them both very much.