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At 100 years young, artist enjoys her first gallery show

EUGENE, Ore. - The great philosopher George Burns once said: You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old.

Maybe he was talking about Ann Danby.

She's been a Duck football fan for 7 decades, the oldest surviving season ticket holder.

But her friends and family gathered at New Zone Gallery on Friday to celebrate Ann the artist.

At 100, this is her first showing of watercolors.

Danby taught herself to paint while raising five children.

"I did take one course in ceramics at the University, so now I'm an alum," she joked.

Among the friends that dropped by Friday: bridge partner Shug Thwing

"Yeah but she's younger,"Ann said. "She's my baby sister."

"Six weeks," Shug said.

Shug only had compliments for her friend's artwork.

"It's beautiful," she said. "Just beautiful."

"She's just kidding you," Ann interjected.

"No I'm not," Shug insisted.

The gallery hosted Ann and her friends and family for an early First Friday event.

"We didn't know her," said gallery president Dianne Story Cunningham, "but seeing her here, she's great."

Story Cunningham said this is what the gallery is all about: open art shows, so families can share in the magic.

So what is Ann's secret to a long life? She cites her Finnish ancestry and one word: "Sisu".

"When I try to identify with that, all I can think of is guts," she said with a chuckle.

Her daughter offered an answer, too.

"Well, if she were to answer that question, she would say a glass of wine and a glass of buttermilk every day," said daughter Susan Kauble.

Call it a lesson in the art of life we can all learn from Ann Danby.

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