A community helps one local woman celebrate her 100th birthday

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DANA, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Along Main Street dozens of cars in Dana, Indiana lined the streets to celebrate one of their oldest residents turning 100.

This is the second time a parade has been held in honor of Clarabell Mishler. Last year, due to COVID-19 a similar parade was also held. It was such a success organizers decided to do it again.

In 1921, Babe Ruth was playing baseball, the National Football League was a year old, and Mishler was born in her hometown.

“At that time we didn’t go to doctors, I was just born at my house,” She said.

Some of her first memories she recalls remind her of “simpler times.”

“I remember washing dishes with my mother when I was very young, standing on a chair. I just liked it. We came to Dana about once a week to bring your eggs and your cream and trade those in for groceries. They had dry good stores or you could go get clothes. That was a Saturday night occasion,” Mishler said.

After a century of community growth and technological advancements, the most noticeable difference to her has been changes in farm equipment.

“We lived in the country and you mowed your yard, but you had a little push lawn mower. Farmers couldn’t mow or cut grass near fences like they could now. That’s one big change, people mow to make it look pretty now,” She said.

After spending a majority of her life in Dana, Mishler is known for her time spent as a business owner and volunteer. She describes one of her fondest memories during a snow storm in the 1950s.

‘We used to have an annual dinner at the firehouse near Christmas time, where all of the community members could come eat at no cost. One year, it was really a blizzard and that’s when snowmobiles were big, my sons and guys his age delivered their food on snowmobiles and delivered food to people way out in the country,” She recalled. “That was something you never forget because people appreciated that.”

Mishler would later help create a memorial honoring World War 2 veterans in the Ernie Pyle Historical Site. Pyle, a Dana native, is best known for his time as a journalist and as a World War 2 correspondent. He also lived near Mishler’s home.

“He was across the field from us. I like to help at the Ernie Pyle House They were needing help finding pictures of veterans. I helped them several times and now they have pictures all over the walls of World War 2 veterans. That was fun,” She said.

Mishler says her keys to success are being happy, having fun, and keeping family close.

“I didn’t think I’d ever live this long and it used to be, 100 years old you didn’t want to live this long. But, now I do, I think it’s fine,” She said smiling.

Mishler currently has a sister in a nursing home that is 102 years old.

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