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Posted: February 7, 2011 3:27 p.m.

95-year-old rides a Harley for birthday

By Michelle Kim/

 For her 95th birthday, Wynelle Wyatt didn't want jewelry, or a silk scarf, or anything quiet like that. The only thing she wanted was to ride Harley. And she got her wish.

Wyatt, the oldest active member of Solid Rock Baptist Church, was treated to a birthday party on Saturday afternoon, where more than 100 friends and family members turned out to watch the spunky, independent great-grandmother go roaring off, dressed in leathers, for a spin around town on a hog.

Her daughter-in-law, Diana Dobson, attests to Wyatt's spirit. "She gets feistier the older she gets," said Dobson, laughing. "She makes more fun than anyone I know."

"It keeps me young," said Wyatt, above the engine's growl. She said she used to ride with her sons in Smyrna when they came to visit, but that stopped when she moved further away to Covington in 1997. Wyatt had ridden on motorcycles before, for her birthdays in 1985 and 1990.

Wyatt was born on Feb. 15, 1916. She's the oldest of eight siblings, four of whom are still alive. She has three children, Herb, Ruel and Sandra, 13 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. She lives with her younger brother on her daughter's property.

Her daughter, Sandra Smith, said her mother had requested either a ride on a Harley or a ride in a helicopter. Though the helicopter was a bit of a stretch, family and church members arranged for Carl Stevenson to take Wyatt around.

"She said we're going to find the Hell's Angels," said Smith.

When she's not going after adventure or lighting up a room with jokes, Wyatt enjoys gardening and has quite a green thumb. Though she's not able to do much gardening herself, she directs her grandchildren with what to do in the garden, and still produces the prettiest flowers, said Dobson. Often, for her birthday, she'll request dirt for her garden, or money for dirt for her garden.

Although Stevenson and Wyatt didn't end up riding down to Florida, as she joked she would, she seemed invigorated.

"This is just the best thing," said Wyatt, after her ride. I've enjoyed it."

 

 

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