Apollo Woman Plans 100th Birthday Party

Hilda Beryl Harley is 98, but is planning her 100th birthday party.

Hilda Beryl Harley is 98 now, but she already is planning her 100th birthday party.

The invitation list is quite long, but she said the menu will be quite simple – beer and pizza.

Considering her many years on this earth, Hilda said her life has been “very nice!”

“I had two children and 7 step-children. They treated me as if I was their real mother. The one girl said, ‘You were my mother longer than my own mother was.’ Her mother died when she was quite young.”

At that time she was living in Sugar Hollow in Apollo – now referred to as 11th Street.

As a child, Hilda rarely saw her father.

“He was a railroader. He would come home from work, eat supper, got ready, and went to bed, and got up at 4AM and left. So you didn’t see much of him.”

She graduated from high school in 1938.

“When I graduated from high school, I cleaned people’s houses for a dollar and a quarter a day! Now I’m paying $10 an hour for my house to be cleaned. Can you imagine getting $1.25 per day, but I lived on it. I raised my two kids on it.”

Hilda remembered gasoline at that time to be 11 gallons for one dollar.

She said there were not a lot of opportunities at that time for women to work.

“Not many (opportunities). If they wanted to work, they would have to go to the hospital and be a nurse. There was a lot of work for them to do, but you had to have the ability and a lot of stamina!”

Reflecting on her lifetime, she picked out the best president.

“I liked Delano Roosevelt.  I liked him! He just had what we wanted. He knew what the people wanted.”

However, she feels Donald Trump is the worst president.

“I wouldn’t give you two cents for him. I think he is the worst person that ever lived. Why would anyone vote for somebody like that!”

She admitted her ties to the Democratic party, saying she felt Mr. Obama was a fair man.

“He nominated that Bernie-guy to go over to Ireland for Ambassador to Ireland. He wasn’t that bad.”

She feels that because of her age, it qualifies her to have an opinion on everything.

“I’m 98 and I can say whatever I wanna say!” she said laughingly! “Whether they like it or not, I was boss!”

Hilda has spent her retirement years being active in the community. She has also served on the Site Council that governs the Apollo Senior Center.