Five generations celebrate matriarch's 106 years

Image 1 of 8

Harriett Keyser arrived by boat for her birthday dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant on Anna Maria Island.

Wednesday night's sunset would be number 38,690 for Harriett, who has always liked numbers.

"11/15/11 is my birthday," she said. That was 106 years ago.

She was born in New England on November 15, 1911. She attended college during the Great Depression, majoring in math, of course.

"I just like working with numbers and figuring things out. Still do," she said.  

Five generations of women join Harriett for her birthday dinner: Her daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, and great great granddaughter, whose name is Emery. They were born nearly a century apart.

"She's a precious 10-year-old," beams Harriett.

By the numbers, not many of us get to sit and talk with our great great grandmothers.

"It's so amazing to hear all her stories when she was younger, at my age," said Emery.

Do the math. When she was Emery's age, it was 1921. Despite the age difference, they have much in common.

"She's interested in math and science and all the things I was," said Harriett.

As five generations sat at one table celebrating 106 years, Harriett shared her secret to longevity.

"My family, definitely my family. I have something happy to think about all the time," she said.