Happy 100th, Grace!

Centenarian Grace Childs reacts as a parade of friends drives by O’Brien Court on Sunday, wishing her a happy 100th birthday. Photos / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

The year was 1920.

The League of Nations was established. Women gained the right to vote. And a sales scheme was invented by a man named Charles Ponzi.

That was also the year Grace Childs was born, and today, June 10, she will celebrate her 100th birthday. On Sunday, three days prior to a planned group performance of “Happy Birthday” sung by her friends from Tracy Lutheran, Grace was honored with a drive-by parade led by the Tracy Police Department, Tracy Fire Department and Tracy Ambulance. Dozens of well-wishers followed, many delivering birthday cards.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Grace said after the parade ended Sunday. “It was very unexpected, and the turnout was great.”

Ken Lang, Grace’s grandson-in-law, said the parade was a fantastic event.

“One hundred years — it’s a good start,” he said.

So what exactly is Grace’s secret to such longevity?

“A lot of love and care — a lot of love from the family,” she said. “I’ve had very caring people around me. And good genes; my mother lived to be 101. God’s good to me.”