On the eve of her 104th birthday-- yes, 104-- Arlington's Helen Maddox is happy to celebrate and be celebrated. She's the belle of the ball, and for good reason.
"I'm so blessed, so so blessed," she told us Friday. "I'm just so happy to be alive."
If you ask family and friends, there's plenty special about this woman. "Oh my word, how much time do you have?" laughed her nephew, William Krebs. There's one thing lately that stands out: Helen still has her driver's license.
Two years ago, when she was a sprightly 102, former WFAA reporter Jim Douglas was there as Helen renewed her driver's license. It was a proud moment, she told Jim, in a lifetime full of them, from hobnobbing with famous politicians to a 1937 run-in with a very famous author. "We know about the story... with Ernest Hemingway," she said in 2016, bashfully covering her face with a piece of paper. You'll have to get that story from her.
She doesn't drive much these days, if at all. "I drive back and forth in the driveway," Helen laughed. She told us she keeps her license for a sense of independence. "Everybody's surprised, yes she does—at the same time she renewed her passport. You just never know," Krebs said.
And as she celebrates 104, she's still looking forward. "I got a renewal the other day to do another two years," she said, laughing, telling us we'd have to do another story on her.
Happy birthday, Helen; don't ever stop being you.