Mertie Mae Loadholtz celebrated her 96th birthday on August 6.
I visited with her a few days later and she told me she had recently seen someone she had not seen for a very long time.
“You know what they told me?” she asked. “They said I hadn’t changed in 40 years!”
She got a kick out of that.
Her birthday party was a small family gathering, unlike the fancy affair that marked her 90th birthday for which she wore an elegant pink gown with embroidered flowers and dragonflies.
She urged me to have some of her birthday cake which still displayed two candles, one shaped like the number nine, the other, the number six.
“My son made me a deal,” she said. “He told me if I make it to 97 then he’s throwing a really big party for me.”
She’s lived in the same house since 1955. It was built in Olustee out of lumber salvaged from a Methodist Church and moved to Glen St. Mary by Gilbert’s House Moving Service.
It’s a sweet house, filled with photos of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren.
“There are so many now I’ve lost count,” she said looking at the photos.
Mertie Mae was born in Baker County in the early part of the Twentieth Century. She remembers walking to the school located beside the fire observation tower out in Taylor.