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When Herlda Senhouse looks back — way back — in time, she vividly remembers the smells — the sour tang of the beer she siphoned into bottles on her first job while still in grammar school in the early 1920s and the pervasive rotten egg odor from the paper mill near her childhood home in West Virginia.

Sitting at the dining room table in her Wellesley, Mass., apartment, Senhouse, a slight woman with a smooth-as-honey Southern accent, is quick to summon memories and to offer tips — the best local restaurants for strawberry shortcake, or her favorite, sautéed calves liver.


And, without hesitating, Senhouse names Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served during the Depression, as tied with Barack Obama for her favorite among the 19 presidents she’s witnessed in her 112 years.

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