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100 years young; Laughter needed

“Laughter is terribly important. Your attitude, the fun you allow yourself to have, and the fun you give others is so special,” said Anne Hankins, Barnesville’s most recent centenarian. On March 1 Hankins, having spent the weekend surrounded by family and friends joined nearly 80,000 other Americans in turning 100 years old. Despite having lived through the roaring 20s, the Great Depression, two world wars, the cuban missile crisis, the Civil Rights movement, the invention of ‘the pill,’ Vietnam, the introduction of the home computer, 9/11, and the middle east crisis, she has enjoyed her own interesting history. Born in China to a Presbyterian missionary and a school teacher Hankins didn’t leave for the states until after the fall of its long, empirical history. She graduated from Agnes Scott with a degree in Biology and after a brief teaching career worked as a physical therapist in Warm Springs. ”Maybe the only claim to fame I have is that one of my friends at the springs pulled me aside one day and asked if I wanted to treat the president. At that time he was coming 3 times a year. Well of course I answer yes and so days later I got to stretch Roosevelt’s hamstring.” Hankins is very quick to laugh and shows no sign of her chronological age. Her spirit is years younger and her quick wit is something you would expect of a young college woman and not the great-grandmother to 10. As friends walked in and out of the room saying hello and some goodbye Hankins continued to hold court telling of her husband Frank – the most handsome man she had ever seen – and her life up and down the east coast. She just recently came to Barnesville even buying a house at the young age of 99 despite the declining housing market and discouraging economy. As one would expect of an elder with years of experience and wisdom Hankins also had some feelings on the present state of America. ”It’s distressing to me that this country has moved away from God’s laws. Where have our morals gone?” But with what is known as her unbeatable spirit and encouraging mindset she gave a laugh and added, “it could be worse though. It could be a lot worse.”

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