106 years young

Clear Lake resident Carrie Baskett celebrated her 106th birthday Oct. 7. - Reporter photo by Marianne Gasaway.

Clear Lake resident celebrates a milestone

by Marianne Gasaway

If you’re looking for the secret to a long life, just ask Clear Lake resident Carrie Baskett.  That is, if you can catch up to her.

Carrie gathered with friends at Clear Lake V.F.W. Post 4868 last week to celebrate her 106th birthday.  It was the first of a number of gatherings in her honor.  Family, friends and groups she has been associated with over the years all wanted to wish her well.

Daughter Peta Ressler says her mother “volunteered for everything” from the time she first moved here in 1955 with her husband, Warren.  She volunteered her time and talents at what is now known as One Vision, formerly Handicap Village and later Opportunity Village.  She also has been active in TTT and other local civic organizations.  

Carrie’s level of activity, curiosity and independence has contributed to her long life, say those who know her.

“One time I asked my mother if she would like to go see the Dillinger bank robbery re-enactment in Mason City and she asked, “Why would I want to see that again?” said her daughter, Peta Ressler.  It turns out Carrie was in the First National Bank in 1934 when Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and their posse robbed the bank.  She recalls hearing gun shots at the rear of the bank and her mother trying to pull her to safety outside the building.  In true Carrie fashion, she would have rather investigated the disturbance.

Carrie still lives independently in her Clear Lake home and enjoys going to lunch daily with her daughters, Katie Kahl and Peta.  The girls alternate years wintering in Florida with their mother, who still owns a condominium there.  

Carrie’s full schedule also includes going out to see a movie each Friday, but it is her love of the game of golf which may well be her secret to good health and long life.

“Golf is her passion.  She would play nine to 18-holes a day in Florida, even in the heat,” said Peta.  

Use of a walker has prohibited her play these days, but at the age of 100 Carrie was on Arrowhead Golf Course south of Clear Lake with her grandson and two great-grandsons and she beat them all.  “Even today when we drive by a golf course, she will sometimes ask if I think she could play the game again,” said Peta.  

Who knows? She just might.

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