Choctaw centenarian celebrates new home
CALERA, Okla. (KTEN) — It was truly a celebration in Calera on Thursday as the Choctaw Nation presented eight Choctaw elders with keys to their new homes.
"It's nice to know I'm getting a new home, right here, where I'm standing, and I appreciate it so much," said 101-year-old Helen Pittman, one of the recipients.
Pittman doesn't let her age get in the way of her daily routine.
"I still drive, pay my bills, and take care of my business," she explained. "I say, when I get to where I can't drive or I lose my memory, it's time to give up."
Pittman is most excited to be living close to family and friends.
"Oh, I will enjoy it because she lived in Bokchito and I live here, and I haven't been down that way in a while, so it's going to be nice to have her across the street from me.
Chief Gary Batton said he is is proud that the Choctaw Nation is serving its elders like Helen Pittman.
"Our elders are near and dear to us as Choctaw people, and, I think, to most families," he said. "It just makes my heart feel so good to be able to offer something like that to our tribal members."
The Choctaw Nation plans to add another 1,000 homes across their reservation.
And Helen Pittman plans to keep going.
"They can't believe I'm 101," she said. "I say, 'I'm every bit of it!' And I enjoy it. I've had a lot of sorrows in my lifetime, but I keep going. I say, 'I can't give up now... I'm too old!'"