Forever Young: Marietta resident proves age is only a number
by Sally Litchfield
MDJ Features Editor
November 10, 2010 12:00 AM | 2194 views | 1 1 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta resident Betty Staples is 80 years old and is still an enthusiastic equestrian and has loved the sport since she was a child. She poses with some of the dozens of riding trophies that she’s earned over the years.<br>Staff/Mike Jacoby
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Cobb County is a community full of exceptional seniors who are still going strong. Betty N. Staples is one such person.

Staples, who described herself as "outdoorsy," grew up on a farm. The outgoing 80-year-old Marietta resident drives a red truck and still cuts her own grass.

"I just love being outdoors whether I'm doing something or nothing," Staples said. "Golf to me is the biggest bore. I want to look up, not down."

Horses have long been the passion of Staples, who was born to ride. Staples, who started riding around the age of 4, continues riding every two to three weeks at her son's farm in Polk County.

"I've ridden (horses) all my life," said Staples, who moved to Cobb County from Laurens County when her husband, William "Red" Staples, now deceased, began working at Lockheed in 1951. "I had a pony when I was 4 or 5. I rode my daddy's old workhorses and he had a saddle horse as a child."

Staples started showing horses as a young girl. A member of the Cherokee Saddle Club, she also taught and trained horses. "Children who grow up with (horses) just stay with them," said Staples, whose den walls are full of trophies and ribbons she garnered over the years.

"I don't know what I'll ever do with all of them," she said, chuckling.

After Staples married, her father sold the colt that she raised, knowing she was a good horse. "Marvin Long took my mare to Sea Island and opened Sea Island Stables at the Cloister." His daughter, Ann, still runs the stables at Sea Island, according to Staples.

In 1990, the last time she showed, Staples rode a friend's Arabian horse and she won two blue ribbons.

"I enjoy just messing with (horses) and loving them even if I'm not riding them. It's just so relaxing. Each one has a personality of its own. They're just great things to have," she said.

She also enjoys fishing and gardening. Staples, whose mother lived to age 96, says the secret to staying young is staying busy. "My saying is if you don't use it, you lose it," she said. "Staying active keeps you young at heart and young in spirit."
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Roslyn W.
November 10, 2010
That's my mom!! We love you momma!! You ARE the BEST!!! Young at heart, young at life. God gave us a wonderful, wonderful loving mother who has always given to others far more than she has ever taken or asked for anything. I LOVE YOU!!!
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