GREENVILLE — It paid for Roy Weikert to walk to the Great Darke County Fair on Monday morning from his residence at the Brethren Retirement Community, located northwest of the fairgrounds.
The 101-year-old earned $1o0 for that walk, as he was the oldest person present at 11 a.m. when the cash prize traditionally is awarded annually every Monday of the festival.
Actually, Mildred Dill of Versailles, born six weeks and one day earlier than Weikert on Sept. 10, 1913, was the first to register for the oldest fair-goer contest, but had to leave for a doctor’s appointment, apparently hoping to return by 11, but didn’t.
Thus, Weikert was awarded the $100 the Darke County Agricultural Society and Peck Sound System co-sponsored this year.
He has resided at the Brethren Retirement Community since May 2003. Born in Darke County on Oct.22, 1913, but spent most of his life in the Covington area. He also lived 22 years in California and returned driving a U-Haul back to this area at the age of 90.
When asked what his plans for the fair were on Monday, he asked if they still had the trampoline at the fair.
“I enjoyed seeing the kids jump on the trampoline last year,” he said. “What I like about the fair is that it is the bigger than most county fairs in every aspect. I haven’t watched the harness races.”
He attended the fair Monday with his neighbor and her daughter and friend who were visiting from North Carolina.
Weikert, who never married, said he founded the business, General Films, in Covington, which is now run by his nephew, Tim Weikert.
When asked why he thinks he has lived so long, he responded, “It’s hard to say but I have tried to watch and get a rounded diet and much variety in food as possible. I sleep well and do exercises. I walk two miles a day.”
Second place went to Mary Martin, born Aug. 28, 1914. Lucy Wolfe and Wilma Baker, both 100, were also registered as were Margie Goldy, Dennis Wogaman, Wilma Gray, Sondra Casey and two other individuals whose names were Ralph and Janice.
Loren Stukey, this year’s Celina Lake Festival’s queen, was also at the event.