What do Oreo Cookies and my good friend, Harry Sarre, have in common?
If you guessed that each is celebrating their 100th birthday this year, you would be right on the money.
The Oreo Cream Sandwich made its debut in the spring of 1912 and has become the best selling cookie in the United States.
Harry, born and raised near Humble Park in Chicago, will become a centenarian the day after Labor Day this year, on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
I first met Harry 10 years ago at Green Valley Park, soon after I moved to Payson. We continue to meet several times a week at our beautiful park, sitting lakeside in our lawn chairs and chatting about everything from the weather to the day’s events to times long since passed.
Maybe you’ve seen Harry walking around the park or sitting with me on the lake’s south end — or maybe you’ve seen him “tooling” around town in his shiny red Mustang convertible. (This past year, Harry purchased another Mustang — a 2012 hardtop. So now he has fraternal twin red Mustangs.)
Harry is certainly not one to let age slow him down one bit. He still maintains his dual residency — enjoying his home and friends in the winter in Apache Junction, while spending his summers on William Tell Circle in Payson.
Though he doesn’t walk quite as briskly or as far around the park as he used to, and he doesn’t hear my conversation quite as well as he once did (which may be a blessing in disguise), Harry’s vision is as keen as ever, his mind is as sharp as a tack and his handshake will more than impress a new acquaintance.
How is it that my good buddy has not only lived to be 100 years old, but continues to live independently and with the gusto of those three and four decades younger? As Harry says, “I eat right, I sleep like a baby, I work hard — and I take one aspirin a day for my heart. I just couldn’t be happier.”
Harry is simply an inspiration to me and is just an amazing human being. If you see him at the park or around town, please wish him a “Happy 100th Birthday!”
In honor of my good friend’s birthday, this week’s music trivia question is dedicated to him.
Can you match the following “Harry” music artists: A) Harry James, B) Harry Belafonte, and C) Harry Chapin with their respective famous songs: 1) Banana Boat, 2) Cat’s In The Cradle, and 3) I’ve Heard That Song Before.
Be the sixth caller with the correct matches this week and you’ll win a free haircut from Payson Hair Company, a new salon located in the Bashas’ Shopping Center. Please stop in and say hello to owner, Danielle Dixon, and to stylists, Stacey Dixon and Courtnay Ferkol.
Last week’s Music Trivia Question
This past week’s trivia question asked if you could identify the 1949s-50s singer-celebrity who scored a Top 10 hit with her song “Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly).”
The choices were: A) Doris Day, B) Dinah Shore, C) Peggy Lee, and D) Jan Brewer.
The correct answer was Dinah Shore.
Doris Day and Peggy Lee were also popular singers of the era. Jan Brewer is, of course, Arizona’s current governor.
Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Thelma Scott, of Payson, who won a six-pack of Chocolate Mint Dilly Bars, donated by our local Payson Dairy Queen.
Thelma, a first-time caller, told me, “I just had to call in this week, as my maiden name is Dill, so winning Dilly Bars would just be so fun.”
Thelma was born in the tiny town of Murray, Neb., about 30 miles south of Omaha, graduating from high school in 1934.
“After marrying, relocating to California, then returning to the Plains states, Greg and I decided in 1977 to move to Payson, where we could retire in a beautiful climate,” said Thelma.
In her working years, Thelma worked in the family business and as an office manager for St. Joseph Hospital.
As for her interests, Thelma said, “I used to enjoy square dancing, but I’m 95 years old, so now I like to walk, read and just do whatever I can to make it to 100.”
She is a member of the Payson United Methodist Church.
Thelma’s favorite music is the big band sound of the 1940s and says her favorite artists are Lawrence Welk, Glenn Miller and the Dukes of Dixieland.
Some final notes
New pictures that I’ve added to my Web site are from last Saturday night’s surprise birthday party for Bob Hafer, held at the Mazatzal Casino. More than 100 family members and friends gathered to help Bob celebrate his 80th birthday.
Also, a new event is coming to Payson in just two weeks. The Payson’s Got Talent event, sponsored by the Longhorn Theatre Troupe, is a talent contest that will crown three age division winners on Saturday evening, Sept. 15 in the Payson High School Auditorium.
The first 12 registrants in three divisions, K-8 grade, high school and adult, will audition the week before for the five finalist spots that will face-off in the finals on Sept. 15. A $200 first place prize, $100 second place and a gift certificate for third place will be awarded in each division.
Registration forms can be picked up at and returned to the Payson Public Library. For more information, please call Kathy Siler, troupe director, at Payson High School, (928) 474-2233. Time is of the essence — pick up your registration form today.
Payson’s Got Talent promises to be a whole lot of fun.
DJ Craig, (928) 468-1482