Eileen is a wonderful lady who I met when she was just 99 years old. A reporter and I interviewed her at her home, where she smiled huge smiles and laughed as she recalled stories from her past. As we drove away, she rang a bell that hung from her porch roof. Just because. I smiled for a long time after our visit.

So I was thrilled to hear that we got invited to cover her 100th birthday party. It was thrown for her by a friend who had already crossed into centenarian-ism. She bought Eileen a “Secrets of Longevity” book, and everybody appreciated the humor.

At the end of the party, after Tongan dancers performed for her, the guests sang ‘happy birthday,’ and Eileen pretended to conduct an orchestra, smiling the whole time.

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