BOISE, Idaho –
Mrs. Elle Clark just turned 119 earlier this week, and she celebrated the day the same way she’s greeted every day for the last 108 years – with a cigarette.
“Oh yes, it’s the only way to really start your day and feel good,” said Clark, who has outlived all 6 of her children, as well as her 3 grandchildren. “There’s nothing better than a good unfiltered smoke, except, of course, for unfiltered prayer.”
Mrs. Clark says that she first began smoking when she was about 11 years old, after her mother left an unfinished cigarette in the ashtray.
“I snuck it out, and smoked it, and it was the first time I felt I could actually breathe, you know?” said Mrs. Clark. “After that I was hooked.”
Clark said she was so excited about smoking, she even named her children after cigarettes and cigarette-related things.
“I had six children, God rest their souls,” said Clark. “My oldest was Philip, then came Morris. I had a daughter, Marby, and another son, Paul Mall. Then my youngest two were boys as well, Benson and Hedges. They were all happy kids growing up, they all lived well into adulthood, but none of them took up smoking, and they all died young.”
Mrs. Clark says that she is extremely thankful for her 4-pack-a-day habit, and that she doesn’t see herself slowing down on smoking any time soon.
“I’ll probably smoke until I’m dead, and even then, I want to be buried with a pack in the casket and one in my mouth,” said Clark. “It’s really a wonderful life I’ve lived.”