“California's Oldest Citizen Rings In Birthday 112"
October 4, 2006; Los Angeles, CA (CBS) – The state's oldest living resident Wednesday credited her religious faith and clean living for her longevity as she celebrated her 112th year with a party at the West Adams convalescent center she calls home. Gertrude Baines was born in Shellman, GA, on April 6, 1894, the same year as artist Norman Rockwell and author Dashiell Hammett. "I feel good. This arthritis got me. I can't walk, but I sure can talk and eat," Baines told Rick Chambers. "I have no secrets. I put my trust in the Lord, that's all. I have no secrets."
Baines, who lives at the Western Convalescent Hospital, spends her time attending church and watching television. "She likes the `The Price is Right' and she loves `Jerry Springer'," said nurse Cynthia Thompson."It's one of her favorites. She loves Jerry Springer."
Baines was married to Sam Conley at a "very young age" -- she won't be specific. The couple had one child, Annabelle, who died of Typhoid Fever when she was 18. Baines lived alone until she was 105.
"We feel blessed to have her," Hospital administrator Emma Camanag told Channel 9. "It's been an honor having the oldest living person in California in our facility." Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke honored Baines at her birthday celebration. "Mrs. Baines, happy birthday," Burke told the Supercentenarian. "One thing it sure shows -- soul food doesn't kill you. If you've been eating ham hocks and bacon and eggs and black eyed peas and you got to 112, that says something."