The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


November 29, 2012

'101 and three days'

Woman celebrates milestone birthday at Hoosier Park

ANDERSON, Ind. — Georgia Bradley’s sequined pants and shiny black fur coat gleamed in the sun as she was helped out of a stretch limousine.

As the Carmel woman was wheeled into Hoosier Park Racing & Casino’s entrance, her hand went to her gaping mouth as tears rolled down her cheeks. There was a crowd around the door cheering, and one man pressed $1 into her hand, telling her, “It’s for luck.”

Hoosier Park staff gave her a bouquet of flowers, a gift and flashing “Happy Birthday” necklaces around her neck as the crowd serenaded her. “Why me?” Bradley could barely be heard saying.

Her caretaker and best friend, Milana Riggs, quickly said, “You are 101 and three days! You deserve it.”

Bradley said she wanted to celebrate her 101st — which was Nov. 26 — at the casino. She remembered going there with her late husband, Paul Bradley, who died last year at 100. The two were married for 80 years and two weeks.

“Georgia is very social, loves people and loves going out and doing things,” Riggs said.

Bradley is far from a wilting wallflower. The 101-year-old is quick-witted, spry and gets along independently at the home she and Riggs share.

“Every day could be her last — although I think she’s sticking around for a while — so we try to have as much fun as is humanly possible,” Riggs said. “Everything we do is important. We take trips, go to a jazz club, and Monday we are going to a bar in Broad Ripple.”

The Bradleys had three children; two are deceased. She grew up and married during the Depression and saw a century of change. Her husband started Bradley Electric at a time when there were no outdoor lights. They business grew when the company began installing wall switches. The couple also had Paul Bradley Realty, LaSalle Realty and Skyways Unlimited, an aerial photography business. Paul Bradley was an avid pilot, a hobby that his wife enjoyed as well.

The Bradleys were one of the first to have a car in her town and she joked that they would stop horse-and-buggy traffic.

She said her secrets to a long life are pork and beans, lots of coffee and some alcohol. Riggs joked that Bradley usually has two drinks a day, her favorite being bourbon and Sprite, the same drink Hoosier Park staff handed her upon her arrival.

“I’ve had a good life,” she said.

Find Abbey Doyle on Facebook and @heraldbulletin on Twitter, or call 640-4805.

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