Anyone meeting Vera will come away with the impression "age is just a number." Vera Virginia Rollins Freet was born in Paris, TX. in 1899 to Charles C. Rollins and Olive Badger. She remembers traveling in a covered wagon at the age of 3 years old. There were no roads for the wagon to travel on at that time, just miles of rocks. She remembers stopping at a small spring outside of Dickens off the Caprock, where they stopped to water and feed the horses and make camp for the night. She says the next morning she and her mother climbed a steep hillside and later that day she lost one of her shoes while dangling her feet off the back of the wagon.
Vera grew up on a ranch just outside of Ft. Stockton called the Ink Ranch. Her father built a little school house on the ranch for Vera and her three sisters and two brothers to go to school and hired a governess out of Amarillo to come and teach them. In 1909, the family moved into town and Vera attended Ft. Stockton High School.
After high school, Vera completed further studies at the Metropolitan Business College in Dallas. When she completed her studies there in 1918, she returned to Ft. Stockton where she worked in the Pecos County Bursar's Office. She later spent some time in California with friends but returned to Ft. Stockton and met Arthur Freet. She and Arthur were married in 1921 and later had one son, Charles.
Arthur and Vera tried their hand at wheat farming in Canada for a short time but mainly made their living from the oil industry in Tyler, TX. Around the time of WWII, Vera also worked two years for the government making bombs. She was later employed at the First State Bank in Dumas, TX. for 30 years and retired. After retiring, she moved to Lubbock.
Vera's life has been filled with travel. She has visited every lighthouse from Florida to Maine. She has traveled to all 50 states, all over Canada and Alaska and the Scandinavian countries, Russia, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South American and many more. Vera, proudly states that she has been on every form of transportation, including a hot air balloon. Her first hot air balloon ride was taken in the spring of 1999 after her 100th birthday. Being 100 has not reduced her travel at all. She frequently visits family and friends around Texas and Oklahoma. One of her most recent and exciting trips was to the Marketplace Ministries' Integrity Awards Banquet in Dallas where she enjoyed the singing of George Beverly Shea.
Being 100 has not slowed Vera down at all. She still swims, watches tv, does crossword and jigsaw puzzles. Her most recent challenge has been computers. She is also a member of the Eastern Stars and a faithful member of the First Christian Church in Lubbock.
Having a wonderful sense of humor, staying active and keeping a positive outlook on life has kept Vera 100 years young. Vera sums up her outlook on life with this humorous poem she loves to recite: