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Submitted photo by Beverly Peralta
Bernice “Bea” Berglund (middle) celebrates her birthday with her daughter (left) Jan Duffy and granddaughter Palma Davis. The two traveled from Washington to attend the celebration in Newberry Springs on Saturday.

Local woman turns 100

Celebrates at Newberry Springs dome house

STAFF WRITER

NEWBERRY SPRINGS • Start your day with a cup of coffee with goat’s milk and honey and you may be on your way to living to 100, centenarian Bernice “Bea” Berglund told her birthday guests in Newberry Springs on Saturday.

“That’s the way I do it and even my dogs like it. Whatever I eat, they eat. I’ve got six dogs,” Berglund said over the phone Wednesday.

Local resident Maureen Johnson asked Berglund for advice on how to live a long and healthy life as she celebrated her 100th birthday. Berglund gave Johnson six tips including: don’t take aspirin, only eat when you’re hungry and stop before you’re full, eat a small portion of chicken or turkey with vegetables, and find a good chiropractor or holistic doctor. The last tip was to eat real butter instead of margarine.

Berglund enjoyed the day with close friends and family at the giant 7,000 square foot geodesic dome house of Newberry Springs resident Lois Davidson.

“She was thrilled, she had a really good time,” said Berglund’s caretaker of three years Dolly Linebaugh. “She was laughing and joking and everything.”

The festivities included the traditional birthday fare with cake and presents. She said one of her most prized gifts was a plant sent from her relatives of Sweden. She also received a phone call from her nephew of Sweden and the mayor of a Swedish town, according to Linebaugh.

Berglund said the birthday cake was the best carrot cake she has ever had, according to her friend Vicky Paulsen. The entire celebration was a surprise to her.

“They told me you’re going to go some place and then they put me in a wheelchair and away I went,” Berglund said. “They damn near killed me with a party.”

Her daughter, Jan Duffy and granddaughter Palma Davis both traveled from Washington to be there. One guest, Randy Riseling, said he thought she was very healthy and hoped to celebrate her 110th birthday with her.

“She is as sharp in her mind as anyone,” Riseling said. “I think she could live for a long time.”

Berglund was featured in an article in the Desert Dispatch on Jan. 24 because she was told she might be evicted by her property owner. She currently lives in a trailer on several acres of land in Newberry Springs and owns another four trailers on the property.

Though the eviction threat subsided after a bank representative said she would be allowed to stay, as reported in the Desert Dispatch on Feb. 11, her caretaker said she was recently told by San Bernardino County Code Enforcement that she must move from her trailer to a house on the same property. The house was stripped of all of the carpeting and electrical outlets by the previous tenant, and needs more repair work than Berglund’s trailer does to be brought up to code, according to Riseling.

“They’re literally going to kick her out of the mobile and push her into the house. It’s very political and it’s just ridiculous,” he said.

Right now Berglund is also experiencing issues with her water system, she said. Several pipes have broken and had to be repaired in the last month. Her caretaker said on Wednesday that they hope to fix the water pump motor this week which is causing them to break.

Contact the writer: BSelf@DesertDispatch.com or 760-256-4123.


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