Inez Deutsch believes it’s no competition — this year’s birthday ranks as her strangest.
“None that compare to this one,” said Deutsch, who on Tuesday celebrated her 100th birthday with a drive-by party in front of her Longview home.
Well-wishers slowly drove their vehicles — some adorned with balloons and signs — by her house, honking their horns, waving and shouting “happy birthday” as Deutsch looked on and waved back from her porch, keeping a safe distance during the COVID-19 pandemic that prevented a traditional party.
“It’s just wonderful. I can’t believe this,” said Deutsch, who was born April 21, 1920, in Upshur County and has lived in and around Longview her entire life. “I’m just shocked this many people know me.”
Some passers-by were treated to Deutsch dancing a birthday jig.
Kirk Bruce said his grandmother — known as “Momzie” to her family — is always dancing.
“She dances everywhere she goes,” he said. “She dances into a room and right out the door when she’s leaving” and has been known to dance in and out of her doctor’s office.
The dancing grandma said she was introduced to the Gladewater Opry this past year by her friend, Shirley Bates.
“I dance over at Gladewater. The drummer plays so hard he shakes my chair, and it makes me jump up and dance,” Deutsch said, laughing. “I like to cut up and have fun. … I’m going to live until I die.”
And cutting up, she said, is her sage advice for living a long life.
“Just don’t sit back and grow old,” she said. “Kick your feet, get up and have some fun!”