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DALLAS Ebby Halliday, the grand dame of Dallas real estate, celebrated her 100th birthday Wednesday with a gala event at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.

Halliday, who started her practice in 1945, hopes to raise a million dollars at the concert for her favorite charity, the Horatio Alger Association.

I had a difficult childhood, and I know the value of an education, she said. It's important to me always to see that a child gets a good education, because with knowledge, everything is possible.

Her birthday party has a circus theme, and not many people know that Halliday was a bareback horse rider as a young girl.

I grew up on a Kansas wheat farm, and I had a little pony, she said, explaining that she would ride the horse to neighboring farmers to sell them clover and salve.

He had a broad back, and I would practice standing up on his back at a lope, she said.

Part of the city's tribute to the woman who is instantly recognizable by her first name includes lighting up the Hunt Oil Building with a special birthday wish.

But this local legend isn't ready to retire at least not yet. She offered this prediction:

Well, I'm going to live to be at least 110, so that I can finish some of the projects that I have going.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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