first_img Troy falls to No. 13 Clemson Remember America’s heroes on Memorial Day Email the author So, he made a bucket list with one item. To fly again.And, Cathy McKinney, Russell’s niece, was on top of that in a New York minute.MESSENGER PHOTO/JAINE TREADWELLPictured, from left, are Cathy McKinney, Russell’s niece; Cheryl Page Yawn, longtime friend of Russel’s and experienced pilot; Russell and Nora Stephens, Russell’s niece.She contacted Cheryl Page Yawn in Luverne, a longtime friend of Russell’s and a pilot with 30 years of experience to her credit. Book Nook to reopen This Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s… Latest Stories Print Article Plans underway for historic Pike County celebration By Jaine Treadwell Published 2:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2015 You Might Like LET LIGHT IN: Out of the Darkness Walk brings light to dark subject Every day, Lawrence Bowden told his grandson he loved him. Every day, his grandson said, “I love you, too, Pop.”… read more Pike County Sheriff’s Office offering community child ID kits “I’ve known ‘Uncle Obie’ since I was about 16 years old,” Yawn said. “In fact, he gave me my first flight manual. He was interested in flying and had taken lessons and even soloed. He gave me the manual and encouraged me to follow my dream.”Russell laughingly said his dream had once been to pilot his own plane. In fact, he was clearing his hay field to make a runway for his plane. But his wife, Eddie Mae, had other ideas.”“I cleared the hay field but I didn’t make a runway,” Russell said, laughing.Russell took flying lessons when he was in his early 50s from Gene Henderson, the minister at Oak Bowery Church of Christ, and they flew out of the airports in Troy and Luverne.MESSENGER PHOTO/JAINE TREADWELLObie smiles, excited for takeoff. Skip “We flew all around here and I flew as far as South Carolina,” Russell said. “That was about as far as I wanted to go.”When Russell soloed, he shirttail was ritualistically cut off in honor of the achievement.Russell said his solo flight was a proud moment and one that would equal “almost” the fight he took on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015.“I didn’t think I would ever fly again, not at 100 years old,” Russell said as he waited at the Troy Airport to “fly again” and completely empty his bucket list. “Not many people get to do this at my age.”Russell was as calm as the center seed of a cucumber as he waited for his “backseat drivers” to arrive. McKinney and her sister, Nora Stephens of Huntsville, were going to fly along to record and document their Uncle Obie’s flight.”“No, I’m not nervous, maybe excited a little,” Russell said. “I’m in good hands.”MESSENGER PHOTO/JAINE TREADWELLRussell stands with the plane.Yawn said she and “Uncle Obie,” as he is affectionately called, had been planning to fly together for 20 years but they just hadn’t made it happen.“This is something that I wanted to do, something that I’m honored to do,” Yawn said. “Uncle Obie encouraged me and, who knows, if he hadn’t, maybe I wouldn’t have ever gotten my pilot’s license.”The four-seat Cessna took off with Yawn at the controls, Russell riding “shotgun” and the sisters lodged in the back seat. They flew from the Troy Airport directly over Briar Hill and probably buzzed a few places. Then they flew over places of interest around the county.“Cheryl let Uncle Obie take the controls for little while and once he kind of banked a little too much but straighten right back up,” McKinney said. “And, he was smiling all the time. He had a great time.”With his feet back on the ground, Russell said he did, indeed, have a good time. “It was fun. I might want to do it again.”People at church the next day, kidded that Russell is now a “Top Gun” prompting some to wonder how having his hands on the controls of a plane at age 100 would rate among his life’s Top Ten.So, he took time to note the Top Ten Events in the Life of “Uncle Obie.”From the top, number one was getting baptized in Olystee Creek when he was 16 years old and a close second was getting married to his sweetheart, Eddie Mae Redmond Russell, and having almost 70 years of a wonderful life together. No. 3 was going on maneuvers in the Carolinas with Gen. Patton’s 3rd Army. Fourth was buying his first land for $6 an acre to start farming and then, fifth, building his first home in the 1950s where he still lives today.In sixth place, flying to Waterloo, Iowa and Moline, Illinois in the 1970s courtesy of John Deere to tour the plants and factories. In seventh place, was taking flying lessons with the preacher. Close – maybe seven and a half – was his Sept. 12 plane trip with Yawn, McKinney and Stephens. Number 9 was living to be 100 years old debt free and taking little medicine. And, at No. 10, was having good health, being able to sing perfect pitch tenor and believing in the goodness of the Lord, however, that could be No. 1 just as easily. In fact, they could all be number one in his book.“Uncle Obie” Russell’s philosophy of life is found in Proverbs 22:1: A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches and loving favor rather than silver and gold.And, to always follow your dreams, you never know how high they will take you. UP, UP AND AWAY: 100-year-old flies a plane again, empties bucket list By Secrets Revealed SUBMITTED PHOTOObie Russell, 100 years old, flies an airplane one more time to empty his bucket list. Russell said going up in a plane again made his Top Ten list for his lifetime.Mr. Obie Russell of the Briar Hill community has lived a full and rewarding 100 years and counting.He laughingly said he didn’t have a bucket list. He couldn’t think of anything that would top the wonderful experiences he has already had, except….“I wouldn’t mind to take another airplane ride,” Russell said. “It’s been about 50 years since I went up in a plane and I would like to do that again.” Sponsored Content Around the WebMd: Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch)Blood Sugar BlasterIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier LivingHave an Enlarged Prostate? 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