Pony Express Delivers Birthday Surprise

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Sharon V. King had a wonderful early surprise for her 93rd birthday.

She received a specially delivered birthday card from the Hashknife Pony Express -- plus a balloon and floral bouquet.

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On Friday afternoon, Sharon King got a birthday surprise when two Hashknife Pony Express riders, Jack Lundeen, left and Chuck Jackman, knocked on her door in full costume.

King has lived in the Payson area off and on for more than 20 years.

She has three caregivers providing for her. One of them, Delane Brooks, reads every edition of the Payson Roundup aloud, because King is legally blind. Earlier in the week, Brooks heard the Jan. 12 Payson Roundup story about the 49th annual Hashknife Pony Express ride coming to Payson on Jan. 31.

Brooks met the head of the local Hashknife group, Swing Boss Chuck Jackman, by coincidence later that day and she mentioned how excited King got about the story.

Arrangements were made to get King a card by personal Hashknife delivery. King's 93rd birthday is Jan. 29. So, because of the events scheduled around the actual ride, Jackman and fellow Hashknife rider, Jack Lundeen, took time out from their day of school visits to bring her the card.

"It was so neat," Brooks said. "She was so overwhelmed that they'd stop and deliver to her personally.

"She remembered seeing the ride come to town over the years and the riders passing the mail bags. She said it was so great they were still doing it."

In addition to Brooks, care is provided for King by Betty Ann Neese and Shari Taillon, both of whom participated in the early birthday festivities.

"Chuck said anybody who has lived as long as 93 years deserves any special attention they can get," Brooks said.

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