Bleeka Miller turns 103

Bleeka Miller grew up in McMinn County, was a successful bookstore owner in Fountain City and was honored with “Bleeka Miller Day” in Lenoir City June 10 — her 103rd birthday.

“Ms. Bleeka is an absolute pleasure to have here at Morning Pointe” Assisted Living Resi-dence in Lenoir City, Jennifer Carter, business office manager, said. “I personally really enjoy being able to sit down and talk to her and hear all the stories when she was growing up when she owned the bookstore in Fountain City.

“And that was probably one of her happiest moments. She really enjoyed that. … I think she was in her 70s when she sold the bookstore,” Carter added. “… I believe other than that, she was a stay-at-home mom with her four children.”

Recalling her first date while growing up in Etowah with one brother, “I was 15,” Bleeka said.

Marriage wasn’t too much further down the line.

“One of my favorite comments that Bleeka told me was when she saw her husband, before she ever knew him, she saw him across the room and she looked at him and she told her girlfriends, ‘That is going to be my husband,’” Carter said. “And sure enough she did.”

Bleeka, a Morning Pointe resident since April 2009, recalled some of her favorite pastimes of youth.

“I liked skating … I tried to ice skate,” Bleeka said. However, Bleeka said her parents thought any form of skating “was unnecessary.”

“A bunch of us girls would go to the drug store after school and sit around there and drink a Coke,” she added.

Among Bleeka’s favorite Morning Pointe employees is Megan Backett, certified nurse assistant. “She’s a sweet girl, I can recommend her. She’s good,” Bleeka said.

Backett said Bleeka “is real sweet and she’s real religious. And she’s real strict on her routine.”

“I like to get my hair done and I like to go places,” Bleeka said. “Reading has been my passion but my eyes are failing me.

“I like a little television, but not much.”

Whenever meeting and speaking to other Morning Pointe residents, “I enjoy it,” Bleeka said.

As for sharing any secrets to longevity, “There’s not any secret,” Bleeka said. “And I don’t like to give advice to other people because it might not work for them.”