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After the Party, It's Back to Work for 102-Year-Old Birthday Girl

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WOOD — Somewhere along the way someone wished Mamie Gupton a long and happy life. The Franklin County resident is celebrating her 102nd birthday Tuesday. The community of Wood, friends and family will help Gupton celebrate, but after the cake, it is right back to work.

Forty seven years ago, Gupton quit farming and opened up a business next door to her home. At age 102 she has no plans to retire.

"No, not long as I can walk," she says. "I like to be busy. I don't like to sit around. I always have something to do."

Gupton opened her store at a time when Wood thrived with commerce.

"We used to have a cotton gin, barber shop, a bank and a post office. All of it's gone," she says.

All of it except for Gupton's store. The shelves are not as full as they once were and customers do not drop by like they used to. But turning a profit is not why Mamie Gupton got into this business.

"I love to have company," she says. "Somebody to come in and talk, have a good time. But I don't have as many as I used to have because they're not here no more."

"It means a lot to her. She likes to come out here and sit from habit," says daughter Pauline Gupton-Taylor. "She comes in the afternoons. She doesn't come too much in the mornings."

If the door is open, Gupton can count on a couple of visits. Her daughter helps keep the place going, buy says she is not waiting to paint her own name out front anytime soon.

"No. I have people tease me I tell them when Momma stops coming the doors will close," says Gupton-Taylor.

Mamie Gupton says she is looking forward to her 103rd birthday so she can say she has lived in the 1800s, 1900s and 2000s.


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