101-Year-Old Woman Still Works at Texas State Fair: 'I Had to Have Something to Do'

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In the year Rose Landin was born, World War I came to an end, the shopping bag was invented and the radio airwaves were bristling with Enrico Caruso singing "Over There."

At 101, the gentle lady is still gainfully employed. Up until this week, she could be found every day at the information booth of the Texas State Fair, handing out maps and answering questions. She's done this for 25 years. And as this year's festivities drew to a close, Landin says she is going to keep on coming back to work until she can't anymore.

Miss Rose, as everyone calls her on the job, sits at the counter, black hair combed straight back, and resplendent in a red short-sleeved shirt proclaiming she is with "guest services." 

"Get your maps," she hollers as Texans stroll by on their quest to find deep-fried food and barnyard animals. 

What question does she get asked the most? She mouths the answer. "You can say it," a colleague tells her. Miss Rose looks a little embarrassed, then smiles big. "Where is the bathroom?" she recounts.

The native Texan first entered the state fair in Dallas when she was 7. And like countless little ones, she was mesmerized by the Gulf Cloud fountain, erected two years before she was born, in gleaming bronze that depicts four women representing the physical attributes of Texas — mountain, prairie, gulf and clouds billowing in water spray.

She was visiting that day as part of a field trip from the orphanage where she lived with other little girls.

As a grown up, Miss Rose married and had children, and she and her husband often volunteered at the fair. She has overcome losing her husband and being diagnosed with breast cancer. 

She now lives alone, but she goes most everywhere she likes, thanks to her trusty walker and the Dallas bus system. 

She tried retiring, but it bored her to tears. 

"I worked for 40 years," she told InsideEdition.com. "I had to have a job. I had to have something to do."

Like most everyone else nearing retirement age, "I thought I was going to do a million things," she said. "But I didn't do any of them."

Mostly, she sat around the house. Then, one day she decided enough was enough. 

"I have too much energy to stay at home," she said. 

So she went out and got a job at the fair, one of her favorite places to visit. But unlike when she volunteered with her husband, Landin now gets paid for her labor, not that it matters that much to her. 

"I enjoy every bit of it," she said.

There are folks who have been stopping at Miss Rose's booth for years to pay their respect.

"My people," she calls them. "We set and talk. I've made friends over the years."

She lives by the adage that every day is a blessing. She still has her hair done. There are rings on her fingers and bracelets on her wrists. Her hearing isn't what it once was, but her voice is strong.

She will keep coming back to the fair "as long as I feel good," she said. Asked the secret to living past 100, Miss Rose laughed.

"I wish I could tell you," she replied. "You get up in the morning." And that, she said, is as good a start as any.

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