Later this month, on the 20th, a family friend of ours turns 99 years old. Gladys is a woman whom I very much admire. She still lives in the house she and her then new husband moved into 70 years ago. Sadly, we lost Gene a couple years ago. Now, Gladys’ son and daughter-in-law live with her, but not because she needs oodles of help. She still gets around with the aid of her walker. She still cooks, cleans, and gardens. And she’s sharp as a tack. Trust me. She asked me something over a year ago and asked me again a couple months ago if I’d managed to do what she asked me. lol. No memory issues here.
She’s got a funny bone a mile long, she’s stalwart, and she’s also a loving matriarch to her family. This past weekend, she had the honor of being the Grand Marshall in her small home town’s Apple Cider Festival parade. You see, her town is also 98, so they grew up together.
Gladys wasn’t only honored at the invitation, she had a plan. She wasn’t riding in some fancy automobile. Not her, nosiree. She got on the phone, called around, and found a Model T (and it’s owner) to be driven in. The car, the town, and it’s matriarch—all the same age.
We knew this parade was one not to miss so made the 1.5 hour drive to see Gladys in action. It was one of the funnest days we’ve had in ages. I’d forgotten how fun small town parades are. Only one high school, so only one band. But the elementary school marched, also, as well as a group of kids on dirt bikes and quads. A local car club, along with princesses and queens. Rounding out the parade were the John Deere tractors. LOTS of John Deere Tractors. And log trucks.
Afterward, there were pie baking (and eating) contests, cider pressing, and food and crafts lining the streets to enjoy.
This was Americana at its best. No, that’s not true. This kind of goodness isn’t limited to America. It’s worldwide. So I hope you get to enjoy your Autumn fruits and labors with a celebration of all that is good.
And Happy Birthday, Gladys. Almost 99 years young. Thanks for being such an inspiration to us all!