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June 6th, 2016 by Jeffrey Drake
Vivian Crofts is a remarkable 100-year-old senior. She celebrated her milestone birthday May 11, and over the course of her lifetime, Crofts has seen just about every form of transportation.
Crofts' first taste of a set of wheels didn't come until she was nearly 10 years old, minus a kiddie car which consisted of two wheels in the back and one in the front when she was just three years old and living in Salem.
Soon after, her family moved to Johnson County once her father's job with the railroad brought the group to Buncombe. That's where the only means of transportation was a horse named Old Nellie. It stayed that way until 1925 when her father was able to purchase a Ford Coupe.
Croft's older sister, Meredith, was fortunate to obtain a Model T after getting married in the early 1920's. Vivian was just seven years old when she was able to get the thrill of riding in that vehicle.
She recalled an instance when her sister's car had gone up a hill, and Meredith had to drive the car in reverse due to gravity and how the early engines were constructed.
Married life for Vivian brought even more chances to travel and experience the joys of transportation in bigger cities.
She was married at age 22, and when she was dating her future husband, Bob, the couple enjoyed riding an Indian motorcycle which Crofts said was the smoothest ride.
Crofts was 39 when she first traveled by air to Chicago, a place where she and her husband would call home. While living in the Windy City, she rode the train to work or rode the city bus.
In the late 1950's, Croft got a new Harley - Davidson motorcycle for her birthday. And at the same time, she also owned a pickup truck.
Crofts' husband passed away in 1959 and shortly there after, she decided to sell the motorcycle and moved to Marion where she has been ever since, and until the past decade or so, could be seen driving her car around town.
After Rides Mass Transit District began serving Williamson County in 2007, Crofts started riding the bus and using public transportation. She had suffered from some health issues, and doctors told her she needed to eat more because she weighed less than 100 pounds. So to get in better health, Crofts starting riding the bus to the senior center in Marion.
Just a few months ago, though, the Rides bus had to take Crofts to the hospital when she didn't feel well. She ended up having to stay for about one week, but once she returned home from rehab, she was right back enjoying her active lifestyle.
“They pick me up at home and bring me back,” said Crofts. “The drivers are extremely nice and all of the lady drivers are very good.”
If you want to see this active senior enjoying life, just visit the Marion Senior Center where she still plays the spoons in the kitchen band every Wednesday, something she has enjoyed doing for more than 20 years.
And when she isn't making music, Crofts goes to Tai Chi for an hour, twice a week.