My newest friend just turned 100 years old on July 28. Evelyn Jewett was seated in her living room here in Muscatine when we surprised her with 100 roses. This was the first time we’d met, and as far as I’m concerned, became friends!
My coworker, Karen Harper (pharmacist at Hy-Vee Mainstreet) was the mastermind behind the surprise. You see, Evelyn is a longtime patient of Karen’s and one of her favorites. My role was to essentially deliver the 100 roses and attempt to capture the moment.
Upon parking outside Evelyn’s home, we were greeted by a handful of her seven daughters. You read that correctly, my friend Evelyn has seven daughters. My wife and I have one daughter and we feel overwhelmed! I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Evelyn’s daughters here in this space; JoAnn Martin, Nancy Guy, Rose Buster (Rick), Barb Howard (Steve), Jan Rutt (Cary), Connie Dore (Stephen) and Laurie Danner (Ron). In addition to that, Evelyn has 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. I can’t even imagine what her Christmas list looks like!
Back to the surprise, we walked up the steps and into the front door, and there she sat. My friend Evelyn Jewett looked phenomenal with her “100 Years” crown on her head. Her daughter introduced our Hy-Vee, group, and I was absolutely flattered when Evelyn told me that she, “reads my columns in the newspaper.”
Later that day, a large crowd would take part in a birthday parade driving past and celebrating with Evelyn and her family. Not even a global pandemic could stop folks from showing Evelyn they care from a safe six feet away.
Folks, this is what I love about Muscatine, the fact that as a community we can celebrate each other’s milestone moments. That’s the small town feel that will keep me here forever.
And to be honest, some weeks I wonder if anyone is reading this column. I’m thankful to know my newfound friend Evelyn has my back.
Evelyn was born in 1920, and certainly the world has changed a lot since then. What has remained the same is our ability to choose how we treat each other and treasure each day. I did the math–Evelyn has been alive for over 36,500 days. Isn’t that incredible? Personally, I’ll turn 37 years old this September 5 or roughly 13,505 days alive. My only hope is to make as big of an impact on the community as my friend Evelyn has. I know she is so thankful to everyone who helped celebrate with her for birthday number 100. I think we need to start planning for next year! Happiest of all birthdays to you, Evelyn, and all my best to your entire family.