It's not every day we hear about someone turning 100 years old. This month, two long-time Abilenians are hitting the century mark. But what may be just as special is where they live: They're neighbors.
Jewell Willis, 99, is surrounded by family and friends this week. On Saturday, there's a special party planned as Mrs. Willis turns 100 years old.
She spent her life teaching first grade with a total of 44 years in the classroom. Now she keeps mentally active playing games. Mrs. Willis says she has no secret to living a long life, other than doing what she likes.
"I just run around and have a good time...have a good time," said Willis.
There may be one thing that's helped Mrs. Willis along, and it may be where she lives. Just across the road on Sylvan Street is J.W. Long. On June 7, Long also turned 100.
That's two centenarians living right across from one another.
"He's had about half a dozen parties already," said Theo Long, his wife. "It's been good; we've been real lucky," said J.W. Long.
He spent most of his life working in oil. He's been married 78 years to Theo.
Together, like Mrs. Willis, they make sure to keep active. Both love volunteering around town. J.W. Long is also a golfer. He played for about 40 years, stopping just five years ago. He said he walked the course. "Just a regular Tiger Woods," added his wife.
She's not doing too bad herself. Theo Long is a very lively 97 years old. Both the Longs and Mrs. Willis have lived on Sylvan, right across from each other, for about 50 years.