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Sunset Meadows recognizes residents

Amy Hamilton

Rose Poff just racked up another award.

At 92 years young, the Sunset Meadows resident was honored again Wednesday night with seven others into the Nifty Nineties Club.

The annual barbecue and crown ceremony kicked off the event.



“It’s fun,” said Poff, dressed in a lavender silk shirt, taking a bite out of a piece of cake.

The club started about three years ago to celebrate those in various stages of their ninth decade.



As Rosetta Harper put it, the elite group had been through at least five wars, and almost a century of change.

At 96, Harper may be the oldest resident at the facility.

Ironically, when she was born at the turn of the 20th century, doctors didn’t think the 3 pound premature baby had much of a chance.

“They said, ‘Poor little thing, she’ll never make it,'” Harper said of stories she’d heard about her

tiny beginnings.

But Harper wasn’t a quitter or destined to just sit still. The youngest of 11 children, she relished playing sports — basketball, softball, and baseball. You name it — she liked to play it.

Later in life as a tour guide, Harper traveled up and the down the East and West coasts pointing out sights to tourists.

She had three children, one girl and two boys, one of whom, Jerry Harper, spent Wednesday night celebrating with his mother.

Longevity is a common family trait, Harper said because two of her sisters also lived into their nineties.

When people ask Harper how long she wants to live, her philosophy never wavers.

“I want to live as long as I know who I am and what I am,” she said matter-of-factly.

Poff is another example of the rich experiences exemplified by those in the Nifty Nineties Club.

Poff was born and raised four miles outside of Craig and went to school in the town’s one-room schoolhouse with 36 students.

She walked the eight miles roundtrip to school and back in the summer and the winter.

Poff repaired the exterior of airplanes and her husband, Cornelius, or “Corny,” worked on engines. The couple lived in Craig, Grand Junction and Sedona, Ariz.

“That’s the way we traveled,” she said of being in the airplane business.

“I could bring an airplane down but I wouldn’t try it now,” she said, laughing.

Poff waited tables in Craig at the former Cosgriff Hotel and the Midwest Hotel for 35 years. She made $3 a week during that time and a good tip, if she was lucky enough to get one, was “two bits” or a quarter.

At the Wednesday night party, bright green crowns and framed awards were in order.

Other ninety-some-year-old honorees included Earl Davis, 91, Agnes Russell, 91, May McIntyre, 92, Margie Ponton, 95 and Viola Bird, 93.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.


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