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Video: At 101, she’s not considering retirement

  1. Transcript of: At 101, she’s not considering retirement

    ANN CURRY, co-host: In these tough economic times, more Americans are considering -- reconsidering retirement, but would you be willing to work until the ripe old age of 101? TODAY national correspondent Amy Robach met a woman whose resume spans 84

    years. Amy: I know, it's pretty incredible, Ann. Good morning. Sally Gordon has been a court reporter. She's worked in retail, in advertising, and at 56 she even became a professional model. She prides herself on her work ethic when most people her age are, frankly, just thankful to be alive. It was 1909 . William Taft was sworn in as president; construction on the Titanic began; and the country's first affordable car, the Ford Model T , had been on the market for one year.

    AMY ROBACH reporting: I used to be a model. Now I'm at more like a Model T .

    Ms. SALLY GORDON: 1909 was also the year Sally Gordon was born. One hundred one years later she still walks to work every day the Nebraska State Senate is in session.

    ROBACH: She walks to work. She'll walk to work when it's nice. She'll walk to work when it's not nice. She'll walk to work when it's horrible.

    Unidentified Man: It's a job she's been walking to for 26 years, where she became the state's first female assistant sergeant at arms. She's worked for three governors, including the current one, Governor Dave Heineman .

    ROBACH: She's here, always on time, always doing her job. And to think, you know, given how old she is, she has more energy than most of the people in this building. That's pretty special.

    Governor DAVE HEINEMAN: In fact, she's just been recognized by the group Experience Works as one of two outstanding oldest workers in America , an honor her former boss and governor, current US senator Ben Nelson , says is well-deserved.

    ROBACH: She doesn't think this is a big thing, being 101 1/2. She doesn't think that's a big thing at all. She didn't think it was big to take over as the sergeant at arms at 80.

    Senator BEN NELSON: Sally's been taking in a paycheck since the 1920s .

    ROBACH: My first job, I used to write 150 letters a day. We didn't -- they didn't have computers then. I'm still a dinosaur. I don't have a computer. I don't have a cell phone. I don't have a microwave. I live at my own pace.

    Ms. GORDON: At your own pace, you're 101. You still have a job.

    ROBACH: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. GORDON: Have you ever not had a job?

    ROBACH: No. I've always worked.

    Ms. GORDON: Even when she's not at work, Sally is always busy. She plays the violin, knits for charity and writes down some of her many wise sayings.

    ROBACH: And God did not give us a rewind, only a pause and a fast forward.

    Ms. GORDON: It seems everyone in Lincoln , Nebraska , knows Sally and has learned something from her.

    ROBACH: You know, I love what Senator Nelson said, we could all use a lesson from Sally Gordon .

    Unidentified Woman: Thank you.

    Ms. GORDON: She even remembers watching the construction of this Capitol building in her late teens and dancing with her late husband in these very halls.

    ROBACH: He is a marvelous dancer. So every time I go by there I think about it .

    Ms. GORDON: One thing she doesn't think about is retirement. Sally, how long do you think that you will work?

    ROBACH: As long as I can do my job. When I get to the point where I'm not able to keep up, I'll quit because I don't want to be a failure.

    Ms. GORDON: Well, you're 101, so when do you think that might be?

    ROBACH: What time do you -- I don't know, honey. My personal goal is a little far.

    Ms. GORDON: I know, isn't she great. And you know what?

    ROBACH: She's lovely.

    CURRY: We were told, you think she dressed up for you? You know, the hat. No, she dresses like that every day, full makeup. She cares about what she looks like and how she feels, and she's just got this real zest for life...

    ROBACH:

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