Sadie’s Celebration

by Kathy Smith, Lifestyles Editor

Hood County News On-Line Edition – March 6, 2000 

Sadie Inez Smith Fry didn’t used to feel cheated, but the more she thinks about it, the more slighted she feels.

Although Sadie turned 96 years old Tuesday, she’s only celebrated 24 birthdays. You see, Sadie was born on February 29— leap year.

After 96 years of life, former Granbury resident celebrates 24th birthday

“I’m mad ‘cause I’ve been cheated,” laughs Sadie, who’s as sharp as a tack with a sense of humor as wide as her smile.

Sadie was born in Blum, Texas in 1904 and never let any grass grow under her feet. A very active woman, Sadie has traveled the world and has numerous stories to tell.

When Sadie was 40 she went to TCU to earn her degree in nursing. She didn’t receive much support from the college officials.

“I was told, ‘You’re too old and it’s a waste of time and money,’” recalls Sadie. “I told them, ‘It’s my time and my money!’”

Seven years later, Sadie earned that degree and began a career in nursing that lasted close to 20 years. She worked at General Dynamics as a nurse for five years and then went in to nursing on both the state and foreign levels.

Sadie moved to the Glen Rose nursing home last year after living in Mambrino for over 50 years. She still calls Mambrino Baptist Church her home.

Sadie’s nursing career spanned the globe and supplied a wealth of interesting stories—nursing at a logging camp where she was the only woman among over 1,000 lumberjacks; the Mescalero Apache reservation; nursing at the American Embassy in Afghanistan where Sadie shot a bear with one shot, she proudly states.

During her 96 years of life, Sadie never celebrated her birthday unless it was the actual date—she never allowed a party on Feb. 28 or March 1. When friends would stop by to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to her on those days, Sadie emphatically says, “It’s not my birthday!”

As far as presents went, Sadie admits to receiving presents for most all of her 96 years, “but they were little gifts,” she laughs.

“All I got was spankings! I had three brothers!”

Sadie’s looking forward to her next birthday—Feb. 29, 2004. She’ll be 100—or will she be 25?

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