Camden's newest centenarian: Herb Inman
Camden — Herb Inman joined the ranks of a few other Camden residents and celebrated his 100th birthday on the longest day of the year, June 21.
On his birthday, Inman was serenaded by residents and staff at Windward Gardens and had a laugh when he began blowing a birthday horn, surprising himself, he said, that he could do it.
Two days later, June 23, Inman was visited by 50 friends and family, some as far away as Caribou, at a public party held at the Teen Center.
When asked what his secret was, he paused only for a moment to say "one day at a time."
Inman, the holder of Camden's Boston Post Cane, is the second in his family to be bestowed with the honor and also the second to celebrate an 100th birthday. His mother, Mary Inman, passed away in 1988 at the age of 102.
So some might say, his secret is in his genes.
He was born June 21, 1912, and weighed 3 pounds. The doctor stopped by the house the next day to see what time the baby had passed away.
His mother told the doctor the baby was in the oven.
In those days, before incubators, babies were placed in ovens to maintain their body temperatures.
Inman moved to Camden from Swanville in 1927, at the age of 14, to attend Camden High School.
He was the captain of the 1931 Camden High football team, the last organized team before the sport was disbanded in the early 1930s. In 2009, when team was reorganized, Inman was presented with a team jersey and was asked to toss the coin at the team's first varsity home game.
In his junior year, Inman drove a bus of band students to Pawtucket, R.I., without chaperones. During World War II, Inman drove fuel trucks across the state and hauled logs to build minesweepers. After the trolley service stopped in the Midcoast, Inman drove the public bus from Camden to Thomaston. He then became a contractor for Clarence Thomas Construction, where he worked until 1972.
Until recently, Inman lived on Knowlton Street where he meticulously tended his vegetable gardens and his lawn and was known by most of the students at the neighboring school. For his 99th birthday, Inman's wish — which came true — was to mow his own lawn.