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Suwanee resident celebrates 100th birthday

Staff Photo: Keith Farner Suwanee resident Georgia Childress celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday at Oasis Bowl in Buford with her daughter Helen Ferguson and granddaughter Catherine Cavanaugh.

Staff Photo: Keith Farner Suwanee resident Georgia Childress celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday at Oasis Bowl in Buford with her daughter Helen Ferguson and granddaughter Catherine Cavanaugh.

SUWANEE -- Because Georgia Childress doesn't consider herself "old," going bowling to celebrate her birthday on Wednesday wasn't much out of the ordinary.

After all, about two months ago Childress bowled a score of 143. But that was when she was 99.

On Wednesday, Childress celebrated her 100th birthday by going bowling at Oasis Bowl in Buford with her daughter and granddaughter. Bowling also isn't a big deal when compared to the first celebration of her birthday the previous Saturday when a disc jockey and 80 friends helped celebrate the occasion.

Childress' granddaughter, Catherine Cavanaugh, hosted and planned the event, and laughed when the birthday girl had a special request.

"Could I please make those good margaritas that I make," Cavanaugh said she was asked.

Childress moved to Suwanee about six years ago, but has lived all over the country.

She retired in 1976 after 30 years of working for Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, first in Washington and then in Saginaw, Mich., when she was transferred to Michigan Bell. Childress said it was hard work back then because operators had to answer every call, and write down tickets.

In retirement, Childress enjoys bowling, gardening, crossword puzzles, country music and went on a cruise to the Bahamas last year. She recently attended a Trace Atkins concert at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Seeming younger than her age is nothing new for Childress.

Despite having both hips replaced, her daughter, Helen Ferguson, said Childress drove a car six weeks after surgery. On Childress' 89th birthday, Ferguson said Childress intertubed down the Chattahoochee River near Helen.

Childress has spent her life taking care of other people. When she was 13, Childress cooked biscuits for workers at a lumber camp in Arkansas. At 15, she took care of infant cousins.

She was one of six children, has twin children of her own, 10 great grandchildren and nine great-great grandchildren.

"She has fans everywhere because she's such a good person," Cavanaugh said. "She's always upbeat."

As for her secret to longevity, Childress said she doesn't have a special diet.

"I eat whatever I want, and how much I want," she said.

Childress does have longevity in her genes as her mother lived to be 101, and was three weeks from her 102nd birthday.

That's why at her 90th birthday party, Childress said in a speech to expect everyone back together in 10 years. Her family expects the same in five and 10 years from now.

For others, Childress said to behave yourself and treat others the way you want to be treated. Age isn't something she thinks about too often.

"Not really," she said. "I don't let it get me down."

To get tickets to a Trace Adkins concert, she called into a radio station and when asked about her longevity, she replied, "I just didn't die."

The only medication she takes is a pill for a thyroid condition, her daughter said. And Childress doesn't wear a hearing aid because she said it would make her look old.

On her birthday, she bowled a 72, but was disappointed.

"It takes a lot of skill to bowl this bad," she said with a laugh. "That ball is not doing what I tell it to today."

In one frame, she left seven pins on her first roll, and muttered to herself how "terrible" the throw was. Then came back and picked up a spare, which brought smiles and laughter from everyone around.