Lifelong Chicagoan celebrates 99th birthday with drive-thru parade

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jean Smith has spent 99 years as the life of the party. And for her 99th birthday, friends and family honored her life while maintaining social distance with a drive-by car parade outside of her Hyde Park apartment.

"I think what makes her special is that she's just been able to be herself for such a long time," said grand-niece Leigh Logan.

"She has these fantastic silver slippers that she'll wear every time she's at a party. People always crowd around her because she's dancing, waving her cane around."

Smith has remained active and fit, mostly through her two favorite activities: sewing and bowling. But she's missing her Thursday bowling league since the lockdown began.

"We've had to cancel the last three matches of the season," said Smith, who her family said can regularly bowl above 120.

Smith's advice to anyone trying to reach her age?

"Just keep busy," Smith said. "And be in something that you can move around. Just don't sit."
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