100 Years Young: Portrait of a Centenarian

Happy Birthday at 100 Years!

Today I enjoyed making a few portraits of a lady (Geri) who has her 100th birthday this week. 100 years old! Or 100 years young? She is a nice woman and a strong woman with a sly sense of humor. She laughs, she smiles, she is a sharp cookie and trong in spirit and strong in will. Her son (74) told me she is “tough as nails.” She is a cancer survivor (major operation), and has survived a serious heart attack.

She traveled alone and took a tramp steamer to Yugoslavia when she was 67. She grew up in Iowa, but has traveled to the Far East and Europe. I asked her if she had any unfulfilled wishes to see a place or do a thing. She reflected on that and then answered: “No, I have lived a good life and am satisfied.” Remarkably, she lives by herself in her own home (since her 50s when her husband died) and she still gets around (walking herself to the car etc.). She gardens and is proud of her home and garden, saying it is the nicest yard in the neighborhood. I asked her about the key to her longevity and she simply smiled and said: “I walk a lot, and always have all my life…I used to walk 5 miles everyday to work.”

I could see she is a strong woman, so I asked her if she had a weakness for anything.

She thought a few seconds and replied with a smile: “Dark Chocolate.”

I am told she plays a mean game of cards (poker or bridge) and has a lot of what Westerners (people who live in the Western USA) call “Grit.” I admire her and enjoyed spending time with her.

I would like your help. Her birthday is this week. If you are inspired by her and would write a few words of birthday greetings for her, I will pass those to her later this week when I join her at her birthday party. And IF you want to send her some Dark Chocolate as a gift, contact me and I will give you an address where you can send it. :)

© 2012, Steadman. All rights reserved. No photos from this site may be used for any purposes, including display on another website, without prior written approval of the artist, Steadman Uhlich.

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