“Live your life and do the best you can.” 

Charles Lamb will turn 100 on August 24, 2009 and has lived his life exactly that way and encourages others to do the same.

Lamb was born just three quarters of a mile from where he lives today with his sister Edith Moore, 94.  Prior to that, he lived in the family home for over 70 years, until it burned to the ground in the 80s.  Like many in his generation, he attended a one room school house – Primrose.

“Deep Rock cleaned out Primrose,” Lamb laughed.  “They had the advantage of us.”  He attended school only through ninth grade – about a year longer than most kids at that time.

It was apparent right away that a healthy dose of laughter has been an important element in Lamb’s longevity.  That and the fact he has taken life as it comes and not sweated the small stuff – or even some things that others would perceive as the “big stuff.”

The Depression?  “The Depression didn’t bother me any,” he said with a big grin crossing his face.  “I was already depressed.  We were so poor that we didn’t notice.  We just got by.”

The Dust Bowl?  “We was in the Dust Bowl, too,” he continued, “but it didn’t affect us much.  We were pretty used to living off the land.”

War time?  “I didn’t go to the military.  My brothers all went.  I got to stay at home and finish out the crop,” he explained.  “I had five days to get in it and the war ended, so I didn’t go.”

Marriage?  “I never got married.  They say that’s why I’ve done so good,” Lamb laughed again.  When asked if he’d ever had a sweetheart he said, “Oh, yeah….or I thought I did!” 

Although he never had children of his own, he claims numerous nieces and nephews.  “I think we’re on our third batch now,” he said.

Primarily a farmer – Lamb admitted he “just about tried everything,” when it came to working.  His first job was feeding cattle for T.J. Hughes when he was about 17.  “I got paid $15…a month,” he reminisced.  “I did it in the morning, so I had time to do other things.”

Lamb also said his best job was cleaning pipe at Cushing Refinery.  “We got paid $4.20 a day.  Then they asked us if we wanted to work 10 hours a day…we said yes…and they doubled the pay,” he said proudly.  “That was a good job…’course it ran out.”

He said his hardest job was putting rock under railroad ties.  “I didn’t like it much.”

“Back in the day” consisted of going to town on Saturday, 10 cent movie shows, hobos and Pretty Boy Floyd – and Model T’s.

“He started driving at 13,” his sister said.

“Yeah, there wasn’t no cops back then,” he chuckled.  “I drove my grandma up to the doctor.  It was a Model T with carbide lights and two little lights on the side that took kerosene….I wish I’d been old enough to have bought that old car.”

Lamb said he doesn’t drive anymore, “I just quit – oh, I guess it’s been about 3 or 4 years.  I’ve got a brand new tractor – that’s good enough for me.” 

It seems most things in Lamb’s life have been “good enough” for him – no complaints and no regrets.  He’s never lived in a big fancy house, flown in an airplane – and computers simply aren’t in his vocabulary.  However, with a twinkle in his dimming eyes and a smile on his lips, he admits to living a life of contentment – and frankly, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

Happy 100th Birthday, Charles Lamb.  You are indeed one of Cushing’s treasures.

Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009, there will be a celebration for Charles at the Cushing Youth Center from 1 – 4 p.m.  Everyone is invited to come celebrate his 100th birthday!