Matilda Roberts of Compton, CA, turned 105-years-old and celebrated with a social distancing party of well-wishers; some driving, waving, and honking their car horns in her honor. Miss Roberts was born in Texas on May 31, 1915, the year Billy Holiday and Langston Hughes were born. They are her favorite artists, along with BB King and Louis Armstrong.
She talked about her special day. “I feel good! I feel fine. This my what … 101 or 105th birthday,” she kids. “So, I’m celebrating and everyone else is celebrating with me. All my friends, family, and neighbors are here with me. So, it’s a great day.”
At 105, Ms. Roberts still maintains a stringent exercise regimen of walking and using the outside workout machines at Will Rodgers Park. She just recently stopped her bowling hobby.
Her son, Percy Roberts, was happy to give his mother this special day. “We’re here today, celebrating my mom’s 105th birthday. It’s a Blessing; God is good,” Roberts said. Roberts, a retired Inglewood police captain, wanted something special something for his mom.
His neighbor, Joanne Cain, contacted the City of Compton Sheriff’s Department, Compton Fire Department, and LAPD, who participated in a drive-by parade of squad cars and fire engines, including a special happy birthday wish from an LAPD helicopter flying overhead.
On behalf of the City of Compton, Miss Roberts was honored with a visit from councilmembers Tana McCoy and Emma Sharif, who presented her with a special happy birthday resolution. “Even though we are quarantined, we just want people to know that we love them and want to celebrate their birthdays, and for you to be 105 is a truly a blessing,” Sharif said.
“Thanks to everyone. I think Compton is a great city to live in; I’ve lived here for years,” said Miss Roberts. Her nephew, who grew up on the same street, reflected on her life. “It’s beautiful to have a monarch in your life, someone who helped raise you,” he said. Miss Roberts says her biggest honor is living long enough to vote for a Black president.