Cummings marks 100th birthday Aug. 2


Even at 100, Bob Cummings is still the worthy foe when it comes to dominoes. His daughter says his favorite strategy is “blocking.” — Standard-Radio Post/Richard Zowie

Bob Cummings and his many family members and friends gathered last Saturday for a big anniversary.

Born on Aug. 2, 1914, Cummings celebrated his 100th birthday at the fellowship hall of Fredericksburg Bible Church.

The party included a cake with 100 candles, along with Cummings’ favorite game: dominoes.

“What he likes best when playing dominoes is blocking you, so he gets 70 or 80 points,” said JoAnne Spencer, Cummings’ daughter. (He also has a son, Bob Jr.).

Like all soon-to-be centenarians, Cummings gets asked his secret to longevity.

“If you’re going to live to be 100, before you even begin, don’t start drinking anything they put before you,” he said. “No alcohol — no beer, no wine. And eat right, also.”

One noteworthy person who missed the celebration was Roy Cummings, Cummings’ identical twin brother. Roy passed away on July 9.

Cummings was older than Roy by an hour. The twins had “sibling rivalries” like many do (their father nicknamed them “The Dogs”). When they weren’t fighting, they’d play jokes to confuse their identities — even when they were adults.

“They’d play tricks on the children and everybody,” JoAnne recalled. “You’d have to figure out which was the grandfather and which was the great uncle.”

Cummings was born in Tracy, Texas, a small settlement about nine miles northwest of Rockdale. He and Roy were among about 12 siblings. Their father was a sharecropper (later, a butcher).

In his early life, Cummings and his family caught opossums, keeping them in a pen that had previously housed chickens.

Once opossum season opened, Cummings and his family sold them.

“We took the 40 into town, and we got rich,” he said.

Cummings also plowed with mules for a dollar a day, worked as a dairy farmer and later as a masonry contractor.

Cummings also is an artist and, among his artwork, completed a painting around 30 years ago. The piece consists of a winding road and chronicles the various events in his life.

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