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90 Years Young — And Lookin' Good! (article)

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Article 14 of 26 from the Ponder This - 2005 series

April 2005 – 90 YEARS YOUNG AND LOOKIN’ GOOD! by Ray Pritchard This is just a reminder for those who may have forgotten. Or maybe you never heard the news. Someone you know and love has just turned 90. Her official birthday was several weeks ago, and her official party won’t happen until November, but I don’t think she’ll mind if you start celebrating now. She was born way back in 1915, in a living room right here in Oak Park. She’s been an Oak Parker all her life. As a young girl, she grew up in the Roaring ‘20s and the Great Depression. She changed her name onc”in 1937, I think””to reflect her true personality. And then she changed her name again in 1959. For most of those years she lived at the same address on Madison Street. Then in 1977, there was a fire and two years later she bought a new house on Lake Street. Her family has grown so much in the last few years that sometimes she runs out of room for all her grandchildren. Even though she is 90 years old, she looks great. Her friends marvel at all she does. Somehow she combines the playfulness of a child, the energy of a teenager, the derring-do of a young adult, the compassion of a mother, the patience of a father, and the wisdom of many grandparents. She is young and old, rich and poor, single and married, playful and serious, uptown and down-home, matronly and very hip, traditional and yet on the cutting edge, socially conscious and theologically conservative. She loves to walk on the beach and surf the Internet. To the surprise of many, she likes Bach and George Beverly Shea and Michael Card and Switchfoot. Over the years she has made many friends. Some of them live in exotic places like Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Bolivia and Kenya. Lots of her old friends are making plans to come back to Oak Park for her big party in November. The people who have known her for a long time say she’s changed over the years. If you can believe it, she’s starting to look a bit younger now. And at an age when most people are well into retirement, she is making big plans for the future. I hear she is planning to celebrate her 90th birthday by getting a facelift and then buying some track shoes. She keeps talking about wanting to have homes in many different places, not just in Oak Park. One thing is for sure: She’s not ready for the rocking chair yet. Well, I suppose I better stop before she finds out I did all this talking about her. If you see her, tell her “Happy Birthday” and give her a great big hug. She says she doesn’t want a big fuss made about her birthday, but I don’t believe it. After all, you’re only 90 once.

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