3 x 100

Mr. Carothers, at 100, on the Mule
Maybe as people are living longer these days, knowing folks who turn 100 years old won't be so unusual.  My grandpa would have turned 100 this year, and maybe subconsciously we marked that with the first reunion of my dad's family in June....only a few days after gramp's birthday.  But personally, I had never known someone who hit the century mark.  Until this year.  And now I know 3.

About a year ago I was asked to create a nomination to place the Jacobs Circus Winter Quarters near Grissom Air Force Base on the National Register.  At that time I met Mrs. Kelly, who owned the property, and her son Ed.  Dorothy was 99 and told me that she would invite me to her 100th birthday party in 2012.  A few weeks ago I received the invitation that had a picture of her training the largest elephant ever used in a circus. I rsvp'd this morning.  Her birthday is only a few days before mine in October.  Someone asked what I was doing for my birthday this year and I said I was marking it with a 100th birthday cake.

Mrs. Kelly, nearing 100, at an event in Peru in her honor
Earlier this summer my mother called me and asked if our family planned to go to the 100th birthday party that was being held for an old family friend and one of our loyalest customers from the truckstop days.  I asked, "Lois is turning 100????"  Evidently time does move quickly.  So we attended her party at the firestation, had a little cake, and wished her well.  She knew me as soon as I said our truckstop's name.  I asked how she was getting along and she said not as well as she liked.  And I thought...."you're 100 and you seem to be doing just fine-I'll be lucky to hit 70".

Lois, almost 20 years ago, at our truckstop
Last evening at our preservation group's board meeting we held a little outing at a cabin in a woods.  Before the meeting we visited a nearby farm that has been in the same family for over 100 years and has been lovingly taken care of by the son of the man who built the house and barn in 1908.  Mr. Carothers said he had been born in the house.  As I was doing the math in my head someone interrupted my thoughts and said Mr. Carothers had turned 100 earlier this summer.  Would never had guessed.
There must have been something magical about 1912 to have produced this many centurions, all living well, living large, and independent.  I figured I had already hit my halfway mark......but with these folks as inspiration, I still have a number of years to go!


vanilla said…
Blessings to your centenarian friends; and blessings to you as you strive for the mark!
Jim said…
Judging by the average life lengths of the Grey men, I'm waaaaaaaay past the halfway point. But then again, I'm not working in a coal mine like most of my forebears, and am not subject to their causes of death!

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