WEST JEFFERSON-At 104 years of age, Ila Mae Phillips still has her wit.
She also still has her sass.
When asked what was the secret to a long and enjoyable life, Phillips was succinct in her response.
“Hard work,” Phillips said initially before adding a quip.
“Also, pinto beans and what follows after that,” Phillips added.
A resident of Forest Ridge Assisted Living, Phillips was treated to a special birthday celebration by the facility staff’s on Friday. Her birthday was on Sunday.
Phillips and fellow residents were treated to live music and gospel sing-alongs.
A long-time Ashe County resident, Phillips moved to the High Country from Wilkes County when she was 13. She has called the mountains home ever since.
She made a living growing cabbages and potatoes as a hard scrabble farmer.
Phillips raised three children and enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren.
Prior to the celebration’s finale, Phillips was given a bouquet of flowers before energetically clapping along to “Happy Birthday.”
Reach Jesse Campbell at 336-846-7164.