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A Trojan for life

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first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champAs a surprise, Barber’s granddaughter, Deborah Ellis, brought her to the college’s downtown Los Angeles campus Sunday to watch the Trojans practice for the 2008 Rose Bowl. They play against Illinois on Jan. 1. The centenarian watched her favorite team in action from a lawn chair on the side of the 50- yard line. “Where’s Booty?” she asked, referring to her favorite player, quarterback John David Booty. “Who took his place when he had surgery?” At one point, USC head coach Pete Carroll stopped by to personally thank Barber. “You’re the greatest fan we’ve ever had out here,” he said. The coach also offered to get Barber her very own jersey with her name on it. “His PR is very good,” she said, as Carroll walked away. Barber also worked at USC for 18 years as a secretary in the dentistry department, where she said the environment was like a second family. “I think it was the warmth of it,” she said. She met her first husband at USC and left school to get married six months before she was supposed to graduate. But those times were some of the happiest, said Barber, who was president of her sorority. “I think she feels more at home out here than anywhere else,” Ellis said. “She lights up when she talks about USC.” Over the years, Barber has attended “hundreds” of games in person. But these days, she watches the Trojans from her apartment on Ocean Boulevard. Barber says she stays active by attending church regularly with her granddaughter. She’s been attending Long Beach Presbyterian since she moved to the city more than three decades ago. Her secret to longevity? “Wheat germ,” she said. “I’ve always made my own bread, and I put a lot of wheat germ in it. That and genes, I guess.” “She’s very much the social butterfly,” Ellis added. “Friends are very important to her.” And, of course, Barber has her hobby watching USC. “It was scary at first, but they’re doing great this year,” she said, referring to USC’s losses to Stanford and Oregon. The team is 10-2, following its win over UCLA. Barber, however, does have one problem with her football team: “SC’s too cheap to put their names on their backs!” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! At 101 years old, Long Beach resident Elberta Barber might just be the oldest living USC football fan. Born in Chicago on May 23, 1906, Barber moved to Beverly Hills with her family and attended USC in the early 1920s. It was at that time she developed her love for the college and its Trojans football team, she said. Over the last 80 years, Barber has hardly missed a game. “It’s been USC all the way,” she said. last_img read more