Sharing a Century of Experiences and Memories
Centenarian Esther “Faity” Tuttle visited Chatham seventh graders to share her 100-years-worth of memories and experiences with the students. Her visit to Chatham Middle School was in coordination with a memoir writing project the students were undertaking, where they explored the importance of memories, both in life and in literature.
Tuttle penned her own memoirs when she was in her nineties,which were published under the title “No Rocking Chair for Me.”
While at CMS, she talked about how she lost both her parents when she was only a child, about living through the Great Depression, about her time spent on Broadway as an actress in the 1930’s, and about the famous people she knew, such as Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard.
She talked about meeting her husband Ben and their 47 year marriage, how in 1939, she put her acting career on hold to dedicate her time to raising her family in Brooklyn, and how, much later in life, Tuttle decided to renew her membership in her actor's union (they still had her on record) and begin acting anew. Now 100 years old, she is still working as an actor and a granny model, including a stint as the face of a recent campaign to promote bus ridership in NYC.
The students enjoyed hearing Tuttle’s accounts of her life, and asked her many questions about the times she lived in and the people she knew. When asked by one of the students how she has been able to stay active as long as she has, Tuttle replied “As an actor, your body is your instrument, so I’ve always made sure to take good care of it.”
Tuttle lives in Kinderhook, and was invited to speak with the students by Chatham seventh grade English teacher Michelle Debye-Saxinger.