NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – December 31 is not just New Year’s Eve. It is the birthday of a North Texas woman who is turning 101-years-old this year. Don’t let the triple digits fool you – Ms. Opal had a lot of help celebrating her big day.
Walking into the room, County Judge Glen Whitley said with a smile, “I guess we got a little birthday cake for you.”
Ms. Opal received the special birthday visit from Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County.
In unison a crowd shouted, “One-hundred-one years old. Happy birthday Opal!”
Ms. Opal was born on New Year’s Eve 1914, right around the time World War I began. She lived on a farm north of Abilene with nine brothers and sisters. The family mode of transportation was horse and buggy.
Ms. Opal recalled how startled she was the first time she saw an airplane. “I was about five. It was just a little old plane, with one man in it,” she said smiling. “We were scared of it. We didn’t know what it was.”
Sadly, both of Opal’s parents had died by the time she was 11-years-old.
“My oldest brother was 25 when my dad died. So, he took over the farm and we all worked out in the fields with him.”
Ms. Opal met her husband, Harold, in 1934. Recalling the start of their relationship she said, “We went to a dance one night and he was there. And he asked me to dance and he asked to take me home and I did and we got started!”
Soon, Opal and Harold were picking out wedding rings in a Montgomery Wards catalog – an important step. “You’d get big catalogs and we ordered it out of there and it came on the mail.”
But as you can imagine mail delivery was precarious and there was a small snag for he ceremony. “It took one day too many, so I had to borrow my sister’s wedding ring!” Ms. Opal said laughing.
Harold died 48 years ago at a very special time for him. Ms. Opal explained. “We were at a party. [It was] his party, his birthday party. He just went.”
Ms. Opal still wears her Montgomery Wards wedding band.
She raised four children by herself by taking in ironing. At 101-years-old Ms. Opal hasn’t forgotten much and on this special day her Meals on Wheels visitors reminded her she is not forgotten either.
Giggling with delight she said, “Oh! I feel proud!”
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