Miss Betty does not act her age

By CAROLE BAILEY,

Do you know someone who acts older than he or she is? I have a friend who says she’s old. Do you know what happens to people when they think they are old? They become old; in their actions, how they think and even look. Age is just a number.

I want to tell you about a new friend of mine. Her name is Miss Betty. Everyone calls her “Miss Betty.” It is a sign of respect in the south. Miss Betty lives in Madison County. She’s relatively new to the tri-county area. She moved here several years ago to be closer to family. I have known her about four years now. Miss Betty is very active for her age. She plays duplicate bridge. She reads two novels a week, and also plays golf, but not as much as she has in the past. She acts very young in the things she does, and is so sharp mentally.

So, why am I telling you about Miss Betty? She doesn’t just talk about her dreams. She makes them come true. Miss Betty had always wanted to learn how to paint. So, she started art lessons with Bob Tompkins a couple of years ago. If you don’t know Bob, you probably know his artwork. He is one of the living masters of our time. So, Miss Betty started taking art and is in my class. This is how we became friends. She is quite amazing. She rarely meets a stranger, and has a smile on her face when I am around her. Miss Betty is one of the most impressive people I have ever known.

When she started getting up in age, Miss Betty did not let that stop her from doing the things she loves. Like taking an art class once a week. If she’s not at the class, there is a very good reason. She has had good health up until the last few months. Oh, by the way, did I mention her age? She will turn 94 on her next birthday - May 5. She is a very young 94. It’s only a number and she proves it. So you see, she started her art lessons at 91. Amazing. If that doesn’t give everyone encouragement to stay active and involved every day, I don’t know what will.

Miss Betty is dearly loved. She inspires people every day. Happy birthday, Miss Betty.

Carole Bailey is a Northsider.

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Cheering for Jackson Prep this year are (from left, back) Eliza Hollingsworth, Margaret Dye, Livi Mathews, Addy Katherine Allen, Rosemary McClintock, Kennedy Cleveland, Rachel Rutledge, Mari Lampt