100-Year-Old Takes Birthday to New Heights

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BRANSON, Mo. – Some Branson businesses rolled out the red carpet for a special resident Monday.

Alice Hannah turned 100-years-old this week and quickly learned being a centenarian comes with a few perks.

For example, her family was able to spend time at the Bradford Inn on a day when the restaurant is normally closed.

“I guess because you say you’re 100, it’s the magic word or something. I didn’t have any trouble [getting in],” Hannah says with a laugh.

Hannah says there’s no secret to living to 100, but she has followed a few guidelines along the way.

“I did obey my parents, I didn’t smoke — might have been one reason,” she says, “I didn’t drink very much. But I don’t think that was the main thing. I think it was an interest in life mainly.”

It’s clear the interest is still there. One of Hannah’s wish list item this year was to ride the 150-foot-tall Branson Ferris Wheel.

“Just something I liked to do [as a teenager],” Hannah says. “So I thought it might be fun to ride this nice big one — see what Branson really looks like from the air.”

“She hardly has a full head of gray hair even,” says Hannah’s niece, Kathy Peterson. “She’s still got a lot of dark hair.”

Peterson says long-life runs in the family. Hannah’s brother is 98 and her mother lived to be 107.

“My grandmother was also in really good health, she played bridge, played cards and Alice quilts,” she says. “I think a key must be keeping busy and have a great hobby like that.”

While there has been plenty of change since 1916, you’ll be hard pressed to hear Hannah talking about the good ol’ days.

“Change is part of life, your know,” Hannah says. “We think of the good ol’ days, but we might not like to go really back to them anyway.”

She says the best advice she can give to others is simple: know what advice to take.

“Some of the advice at least is worth listening to,” she says, “but you don’t need to cut out the fun stuff. You can still have fun.”

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