Apple Blossom parade float to feature 98 and 99-year-old king and queen

Two St. Joseph senior citizens are proving age is just a number as they will be taking on a big role at this year's Apple Blossom Parade.

Posted: May 3, 2019 7:48 AM
Updated: May 3, 2019 7:50 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)- "My mother always said keep yourself active. If there's something and there's nothing else to do, find something to do."

Those are the words of Nebraska girl turned St. Joseph native Ruth Martin. She is is still very much happy, healthy and active, believe it or not, at the age of 99. She said family and keeping busy is the key to her longevity.

"I belonged to everything there was and I was always an officer with it so I was busy constantly," Martin said. "I loved to dance. Went to a lot of dances to keep your legs moving all the time."

Lee Pollert, who is also almost 99, on the other hand said the farming life in his hometown of Clarksdale with his older brother was the secret to his long life.

"In the summertime, I worked daylight to dark, the whole works on the tractor."

Over the last year, both Martin and Pollert have been calling the Colby Senior Living Center home and enjoy the friends and hospitality. To make them feel more at home, both were chosen by the staff to be the center's queen and king at the city's Apple Blossom Parade. It's an honor they are very excited about.

"Well yes! I used to take my children to the Apple Blossom Parade," Martin said. I've been on floats before when I was young. My husband always said I talked with my hands. I'll talk with my hands on Saturday."

"It's the place to be if you want to be somewhere," Pollert said. "I don't know what I'm getting in to. Not used to stuff like this. It will be an exciting thing."

No matter how they interact with people whether waving or passing out candy. It will be another life experience they will never forget.

"I don't know what to expect. I just hope that the sun is shining," Martin said.

You can of course catch both Pollert and Martin as they march down the parade route on Saturday morning aboard the Downtown First float.

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A weak front will move out of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas Sunday morning giving the region a slight chances for showers before sunrise. A southeast wind will pick up Sunday around 10 to 15 mph, sunshine will return, and temperatures will warm into the upper 70s.
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