This is Martha Coleman Day in Austin. Mayor Lee Leffingwell made that proclamation in honor of one of Austin’s oldest living residents.
Coleman is a tiny woman. At a quilting party celebrating her 108th birthday she wore a pink dress that was a little too big for her. Coleman’s 93-year-old niece had been stitching while she waited for her aunt’s arrival. One of Coleman’s great-grandnieces put a Happy Birthday rhinestone tiara on her head. Coleman’s slim fingers grabbed a needle and start putting the shapes together.
“I never did play too much,” said Coleman, who works out once a week. “I was always sick when I was small. But I liked to skip, skip, skip. But I was crippled when I was little and I never did play too much.”
But she could quilt. So as a little girl, Coleman learned from her mother. The world has dramatically changed around her, but she has kept a tight-knit family that looks like her quilts -- all colors, shapes and sizes stitched by her common thread. And she works out once a week.
Leffingwell presented Coleman with a proclamation from the city and one from Gov. Rick Perry.
“I don’t even have words to thank you,” she said.
“Well, no thanks are necessary,” Leffingwell replied.
“But I do have to say thank you.”
“We’ll come back next year and wish you a happy 109, okay?”