By JAMIE PATTERSON
With a gleam in his eye and a wide grin, Mr. Bill Oldham has plenty of stories to share.
The 100-year-old has jumped out of a runaway truck, served in the U.S. Army, worked in a shipyard and raised a family.
“I feel young,” he said, looking back over his 100 years.
The Mechanicsburg native turned 100 Friday. He will celebrate a century of memories with family and friends today at the First Baptist Church of Satartia from 2-4 p.m.
Mr. Oldham’s childhood was similar to many country children. He worked with his family, attended school in Satartia and played in the woods.
“I would take a slingshot and go in the woods and play,” Mr. Oldham said.
Mr. Oldham worked with his father on the homeplace.
“My daddy use to cut hickory blocks up on a mule and wagon,” he said. “We had lots of tools and equipment. Daddy would work, and he had me doing what he was doing.”
Mr. Oldham also got involved with the welding business, building his own shop behind his home. He was one of the first welders in the Tinsley Oil Field in the 1930s. His grandson is a welder in those same fields today.
But it wasn’t all work and no fun. He laughs when he remembers the time he and his friends got into a little mischief.
“We were finished with school, and we had an old truck,” he said. “The steering wheel was loose, but it ran.”
One of Mr. Oldham’s friends was determined to drive the truck. His pleading eventually landed him in the driver’s seat.
“We got to going down a long hill when he pulled the top off the steering wheel,” he said. “We went all over the road, hit a creek and bounced back onto the road.”
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Last Updated (Friday, 27 August 2010 17:02)