By the mood of the party and the music that echoed off the walls, the last thing most would expect Mary Bostrom to say about her birthday is that it’s just another celebration.
“It’s just — I had birthdays, that’s all,” Bostrom said.
But her friends and family will tell you it’s always a big deal with someone gets to celebrate birthday No. 99.
“There’s a lot of things that happen in 99 years,” Howard, Mary’s son, said. “They’ve seen a lot of changes.”
Yet the one constant, Howard said, has always been his mother’s love of music.
“She’d been around music all her life. She learned to play by ear,” he said. “When I grew up, I took piano lessons. She was always in the kitchen telling me if I went too fast or too slow.”
And with the love of music came a knack for rhythm, which always translated to the dance floor for her and her 10 siblings, especially her sister, Esther.
“Since they were young, all the girls, they all polka danced,” Howard said. “You mention dancing, you better have your coat on because they were headed for the door. They love to dance.”
Her rhythm also translated, in the early 1990s, to the drum set, which she played at her own party.