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Mary Mora at age 95.


Mary Mora #9

In the summer of 2011, my son and I drove back to New Mexico to spend a couple of weeks photographing and visiting old friends. We went down to Cerrillos to see if Mary was still behind the counter of her bar in the former mining town south of Santa Fe.

She was still there, at age 95, but no longer working. Her daughter runs the bar for her, while she sits at the table and does word-find puzzles and plays with her five cats. Mary's health has declined a lot since I last saw her nearly four years before. She can't walk without holding on to furniture, and her memory is going.

Mary remembered me and my son when we walked in, and asked if I was still seeing Ann, the woman I dated in Santa Fe years earlier. Though her long-term memories are still sharp, she couldn't remember things from just a few minutes earlier. She asked my son what grade he was in several times, and repeated several stories to us a few minutes after the last retelling. It was sad to see her like that, but few of us get to live to 95, or even to age 92, her age when I had last seen her before I moved back to Indiana.


Update: Mary died on April 7, 2016. She was 99 years old, and would have turned 100 in July. You can read her obituary in the Santa Fe New Mexican.




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by Christopher Crawford

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