As the police cruiser pulled up to the senior center, it wasn’t public enemy number one inside, but number 102. Edie Simms is 102 years young and had never been in the back of a police car. Edie was happy to have fulfilled her unusual bucket list wish. “These types of events and Ms. Simms help us do that, and we’re more than happy to do these type of things,” says St. John McLaughlin of the St. Louis Police Department. “We love it and we get more out of it than the seniors do.”
Friday morning, she was dispensing pearls of wisdom and free pairs of socks and scarves in the police station. “Keep going, don’t ever stop whatever it is you’re doing, and spend some time doing community service. Sometimes the person you reach out and touch is the only person that they will talk to in a day,” says Simms. Community service is something this senior citizen is all about. Last year, Simms sewed and stitched some 413 handmade items for the folks at Five Star Senior Center.
“I made my first dress that was wearable,” says Simms. “I’m not saying it was good but I wore it to school when I was 10 years old.” “But here we’ve got a senior helping seniors and I just think that’s the neatest thing,” says Michael Howard, executive director at Five Star Senior Center.
Recently, Simms made a trip to American Baptist University to talk about 100 years of remembering. She also celebrated a birthday, but has no plans of slowing down. “The 25th of September,” laughs Simms. “You can tell what my folks were doing on Christmas before. They were making babies.”
By midday it was back to business as usual with a big game of bingo. KPLR reports that everybody in attendance got a handmade item to take home courtesy of Edie and some advice from someone who has seen a lot in her first century of life. “It’s a great world if you just open your eyes and look at it,” says Simms.