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George Carlson turns 100, a big party planned

George Carlson - Courtesy photo
George Carlson
— image credit: Courtesy photo

ARLINGTON — George Harold Carlson, a.k.a. Uncle Harold, is celebrating his 100th birthday Sunday, April 26 and the community is invited.

He was born April 26, 1909, said his nephew, Tim Teague.

“We don’t know who all is coming,” he added. “That’s the surprise.”

Carlson was a tiny baby when his parents settled on Burn Road between Arlington and Granite Falls.

Harold was honored as the oldest living graduate of Granite Falls High School when the new high school was dedicated a couple of years ago.

Carlson married into the Wangsmo family and gained an extended family and lots of good friends including Ruth Wangsmo’s husband, Harry Yost, who died last month.

“We lived four miles from Granite Falls and eight miles from Arlington,” Carlson said, telling the story about the family’s first trip to Arlington to check out the new grocery store.

“We went slip-sliding down that hill, the horses were out of control, and me and my mom and brothers got off the wagon,” Carlson said. They never went back to Arlington, he joked.

Until he married into Arlington, that is.

Uncle Harold lives on his own in a cute little house on Hillcrest Street, with lots of help form neighbors and nieces and nephews.

“My sister Pam helps out once a week; we do the medical stuff, and his other brothers and sisters help Uncle Harold get hair cuts and other errands.

“He likes to get out and see what’s going on around town,” said Claudia Teague, Tim’s wife and daughter of Esther Wangsmo Teague.

Just like Harry, Carlson drove a school bus while still in high school and he served in the Pacific theatre during World War II. He worked for many years at a box printing company in Seattle.

He was married when he went into the military, but he got divorced when he got back.

It was a good thing, he said, “because then I met Ellen Wangsmo” and they lived happily after that.

Uncle Harold loved to dance as a youngster and liked to make music, too.

“I’ve got a good cook,” he said. “She opens the fridge and figures out something to cook in a minute.”

He’s been going to the same barber since 1975.

“It’s Julie. I told her once where to part my hair and she remembered ever since,” Carlson said.

Carlson spoke Swedish until his first year in school. He hears OK on one side, but never could hear out of the right ear after being too close to a blast in the war.

He took a fall recently, but didn’t hurt anything.

The birthday party is from 1 - 4 p.m., Sunday, April 26, at Wroblinski Manor, at 1218 E. Fifth St., next to the Catholic Church.

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