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Gertrude Hawkins celebrates her 106th birthday with loved ones and gives advice for a long life

Los Angeles — Gertrude Hawkins celebrated her 106th birthday with good humor and some advice for those hoping to live a long life: Don’t let anything get you down.

Hawkins was born on March 28, 1917, the daughter of farmers from Mississippi and Arkansas. She is known as “Aunt Treme” to her loved ones in the Los Angeles area and doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind.

“I don’t let anything bother me because anxiety gets you nothing but gray hair, and I don’t want that,” Hawkins said.

Lou Davis, who has known Hawkins for 82 years, says he loves her charisma and kindness.

“She’s such a giving person. Kind. We love her cuteness. We love her cuteness. The way she carries herself,” said Davis.

Her family called her a pioneer, citing her as a pioneer in bringing the family out West.

“We all followed Aunt Treme to the West Coast,” said Ryan Hope, Hawkins’ great-nephew. “If she hadn’t been one of the pioneers who came to the West Coast early in her life, we wouldn’t be here.”

But for Hawkins, she remembers the time growing up as a farmer in the South fondly, saying it was actually the “best life.”

“You work from sunup to sunset. So you don’t have a lot of thinking to do,” Hawkins said. “I thought it was the worst life in the world, but it was the best life.”

“You didn’t have to lock your door,” Hawkins continued. “You could go out and stay a year and pull the door behind you and come back, and no one was in your house.”

Hawkins has outlived three siblings and has one adopted son. Even at the age of 106, she was able to make her party guests laugh as she lifted a leg on her walker.

She has nothing but valuable advice for those who hope to listen. She says the key to living a long life is to treat everyone right and keep living.

“I try to treat everyone right, and that way I don’t have any worries, and I don’t regret my life,” Hawkins said. “I have one answer for everyone, and that is to live and not die.”

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