Happy Birthday

Booker to turn 100 on Sunday


Living a long, healthy life means staying hungry.

Maxine Booker, who turns 100 on Sunday, said staying hungry will not only help one avoid physical disparity, but will help one stay focused on what’s important in life.

That was her sentiment Thursday at Wellbrooke of Crawfordsville where she is often visited by family and friends. However, she also thoroughly enjoys word searches, crafts and naps in her down time.

“If you stay a little bit hungry all the time, you’ll get old and live longer,” Booker said. “If you fill up every meal, you don’t live long. Leave ‘em just a little bit hungry, and stay hungry. Probably from the time I was 16, I was a little bit hungry all the time.”

But she wasn’t always so fond of her word searches.

“I have a word search. I never used to like them. I thought it was dumb, because all you do is look for them, but now I play with it. What else do I do? I used to do more than I do now,” she added. “I sleep well, that’s a blessing. I sleep a lot in the daytime and I sleep good at night. In fact, I hate to get up. But after you’re up a while, you’re OK.”

She was born May 22, 1922, to Ben and Hazel Wilson on the family’s Browns Valley farm about 10 miles southwest of Crawfordsville. She had a younger brother, Hubert Wilson, who passed some time ago, she said.

She graduated from Waveland High School in 1939 at the tender age of 16 after skipping the second grade at her Browns Valley primary school. Six years later, she married Carl Booker in Greencastle in 1945, before the couple settled in Crawfordsville.

“Back then there would be two grades in one room, and the lower grade would listen to the other class and learn. I already knew the second grade, so they wanted to push me up to the third grade,” Booker said.

They had one son, David Booker, who lives along the route between Crawfordsville and Browns Valley to this day. Maxine and Carl were married 51 years until his death in 1996.

She is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to a host of next-generation Bookers, including daughter-in-law Sandy, grandchildren Tom and Jami, and great-grandchildren in Jonavan, Max and Lyric.

Booker pondered Thursday if she is actually turning 100 or if she could be 101 due to the fact babies are born at age 0. But she had no qualms with the “next 100 years” of her life.