“I don’t want to look back, I want to move forward.” Those are the words of centenarian Victoria Novak of Hudson.
Have you always been interested in politics and government?
Yes! My father and I had that in common, but we never ran for any office.
I remember Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wing chair a lot due to his polio. I remember we came out of The Depression and then there was the war. Things were better in the days with John F. Kennedy.
Do you like music? Dancing?
Yes, both! We danced to Polish music. We were interested in Hollywood and what they were putting on for shows and if we could afford to go to them.
How do you think music has changed in your lifetime?
I think music these days is hard and it makes people emotionally unstable and maybe promotes more hatred.
What are some things you think have changed the most?
Shopping. We used to have nice specialty stores on the corner in your neighborhood. We shopped daily for fresh food, bakery items and meats. Never bought for a week at a time. We did get a small General Electric “Ice Box,” but we mostly stored ice in it though, not food. Big families didn’t have leftovers. Burned coal and had a wood burning stove for heat. We were used to it and dressed for the seasons.
What was the best time in your life?
I would say in my 40s. My husband had a good job, we had a new car and nice home, life was good. Sadly, I lost my husband at 46 and had to rebuild my life for the next 50 years.
What has gotten you through your tough times?
My family, parents and my faith. I don’t like to be sad, so I choose to look ahead instead.
You survived having tuberculosis.
It was hard, I lost three siblings. I had to go away to a sanatorium for 16 months to get well. I had five surgeries on my ribs. My husband had to care for our two small daughters. They were 2 and 4 when I got the family back together.
Have you always been an active and “fit” person?
I have always thought it was important to exercise and stay healthy. It helped my recovery after having T.B. As a kid I always went ice skating in the winters and roller skating in the summer.
Do you have any special advice to give young people?
Children need their elders present in their lives. I would say to have patience and get help if you need it. Talk to someone you trust or your parents about your problems or troubles before you act out.