CAMDEN, Ark. (KATV) — A centurion, plus an extra five years, Mattie Upton reached her 105 birthday a few weeks ago and said age is but a number.
“At times it is a little embarrassing," said Upton. "Everybody is so surprised by it but I will tell you this, my work is not done.”
Born in Woodbury, Ark., Upton said she has lived in 7 different states throughout her life but always making it back to Arkansas.
As a kid, she remembers making many trips from Bearden to Camden.
“He would drive us over here and we would pay him a dime for gasoline just to ride over here," said Upton.
She said even today she drives herself with her driver’s license expiring on her 108th birthday.
Her response is simple when asked if she still drives.
“Doesn’t everybody?" said Upton.
She said her brother taught her to always drive for five people.
“You drive for the man in front of you, the man behind you, the man to our left, the man to your right, and yourself," said Upton. "Back then, not many women drove. That is why he said it that way.”
Upton says back in 1974, she was diagnosed with mouth cancer but said she was never worried.
“I’m ashamed to tell you but I never worry about anything like that," said Upton. "I know that if it happens, it will happen and if it doesn’t.”
Now almost 50 years later, Mattie is living everyday to the fullest, driving her friends to church on Sunday and once a week getting her hair done with the same stylist for have a century.
“I had a beauty shop downtown at the swinging set and she was one of my first customers," said Charles Hodges, hair stylist with Hair Designer. "She was working at the furniture factory then.”
At age 79, Hodges still cuts hair and said since 1964, Mattie has been one of his favorite customers.
“We look forward to her every week coming through that door," said Hodges.
Maddie said the secret is no secret, just a simple and happy life.
“Attitude makes an awful lot of difference," said Upton. "Your attitude toward anything. I am not jealous of anybody. I don’t dislike a lot of people. The Lord knows why I am here. Your lord knows why you are here. When I get my job finished here, as I have said before, he will call me home. There is something I haven’t done that I should have done. That is all I know.”
Upton has been a member of the First United Methodist Church for 95 years.
She said as long as she is able, she will continue to do the things she loves with the people she loves for as long as she can.