Super Senior: Yvonne Allen
It's a winter wonderland in Johnson, and the folks at Johnson Woolen Mills couldn't be happier.
"This is great here, I like it here," said the company's Yvonne Allen.
Cold weather means brisk sales. About a dozen woman are working. The sound of sewing machines and country music blend together. "I'm working on cuffs for a final shirt -- the sleeves," Allen said.
Way in the back, Allen is working on sleeves for flannel shirts. "I'm putting them together," she said.
The senior seamstress knows her stuff. The Johnson-native started in 1946 -- back then she commuted by horse. "A lot of people know me. I've been here all my life, in this place," she said.
Not exactly all her life. She left the state with her husband for 25 years, but when he passed away Johnson and the mill beckoned her home.
She raised Arabian horses and hunted deer.
"You taught me a lot about horses," said Johnson Woolen Mills owner Stacy Manosh.
"You're darn right," Allen responded.
Stacy is the 4th generation of her family that Allen has worked for.
Stacy Manosh: That's a long time, that's a lot of thread going through that machine
Yvonne Allen: You're darn right. And a lot of swearing too.
Yup, Allen can be both sassy and salty.
Yvonne Allen: I can be a fight too.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You can?
Yvonne Allen: Nobody is going to (expletive) -- I mean to get away with it. You know what I mean?
To break up the monotony of the job, she has a sparing partner -- Sandy Coburn.
Reporter Joe Carroll: You always been next to this character?
Yvonne Allen: No!
Sandy Coburn. No, thank God no.
Allen and Coburn needle each other -- pun intended. Allen is also a practical joker. "She stuck my shoe under my cushion so I couldn't sit down," Manosh said.
This week is extra special. Allen is turning 93. "I don't even think about it," she said.
Reporter Joe Carroll: So what are you going to do for you birthday?
Yvonne Allen: I don't know yet, probably go on a party -- take a little toddy, you know?
Allen did remarry -- she's been with Norman for decades.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Is he working?
Yvonne Allen: No, he's home taking care of the cat.
Reporter Joe Carroll: I can still see you're kind of feisty.
Yvonne Allen:: Oh I could, I could. I mean, I'm not half dead.
But age is catching up to Allen. Her eyesight is fading away. Coburn only has her working on small projects. Next year will probably be her last.
Yvonne Allen: "I'll probably tell them, this is it, I won't be back.
Reporter Joe Carroll: Happy trails.
Yvonne Allen:: You're darn right. I don't have a no more horse. I would if I had it.