Celebrating One Century-The Orlando Times
Celebrating One Century – 100 Years - Of Life
BY LOUIS C. WARD
Photo Cutline: ErthaClymp
LEESBURG - ErthaGlympis an official centenarian. She celebrated her 100th birthday Monday, November 1st at her home in Leesburg, Florida, surrounded by family and friends.
The new centenarian was born in 1921 and raised in Leesburg, Florida, where she attended the Lake County Training School, the school for Black children in Leesburg. She was an avid member of St. Paul’s AME Church on Lake Street, becoming an ordained deaconess in January 2018.
“We had a good principal and great teachers at Lake County Training School,” remembered Ms. Glymp, as she discussed her educational experiences. “Mr. Wilson, one of my teachers, expected you to do your work. He told us don’t darken his door way if you don’t have his work. Those students who didn’t have his work walked in the auditorium”
We walked miles to school and I vividly remember the white kids looking at us walking as they rode by on the school bus, which my sister named the “tin top taxi.”
Ms. Glymp’s high school graduation in 1940 was one of her best moments in her school career: “I was so impressed when I graduated. I put my cap on and they called my name and I walked across the stage.”
Ms. Glymp wasn’t financially able to attend college after she graduated from Lake County Training School. Leesburg at that time didn’t have many stable employment opportunities for Blacks, so “I left Leesburg. I went to work for families in upstate New York, The Catskills Mountains. Those mountains were gorgeous; the Lord must have done it.”
Ms. Glymp was confident that she would make it in life because made sure she was always employed, working at upstate New York and then moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she worked making wings for warplanes at a United States Defense Plant.
Thirty years later, in1970, Ms. Glymp enrolled in college at Temple University in Philadelphia and became an elementary school teacher.“I liked working with the smaller children, elementary students,” remarked Ms. Glymp, who also was loved by her Sunday School students at St. Paul AME Church.
After Ms. Glymp retired, she returned to Leesburg in 1985. Except for some tutoring and being active in her church, Ms. Glymp continued a normal retired life.
When asked what was her advice for living a long and happy life? “Put the good Lord first God first,” emphasized Ms. Glymp, “Diet, drinking lots of water and walking;I walked 3 miles a day when I was in my 90’s.”
Ms. Martha Mitchell, her neighbor for more than 50 years said, “My deceased Mom and Ms. Glymp were very good friends, and I used to take them to various places. Ms. Glymp is a very good neighbor, the kind of neighbor you leave your house key with when you are going out of town.”