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A century on the Plains

With her birthday today, Comanche County  and the Comanche Nation  treasure Anna Wockmetooah Tahmahkera will be celebrated for who she is  a woman of a century's character.

A real storyteller, she's a bit of a character in her own right: the best character  a kind woman who can't abide "sitting around doing nothing."

Why should she? Those traits have led her to do more in a century than most people could or would in two.

When asked, "What does it mean to live to 100?" Tahmahkera answered, "I was asking myself that." Without answering directly, the next hour of conversation said everything needed.

Now living in the Edith Kassanavoid Gordon Assisted Living Center  the Comanche Nation's elder care center  Tahmahkera can look out the window and see some of the vast undeveloped lands that were part of the neighboring landscape beginning to fill with buildings and roads. She remembers when "barely a dirt road" was the only development in the area that now is home to casinos and other businesses.

"The tribe lived all through this area, but there was no town, really," Tahmahkera said. "There was nothing here."

Like any good tale, when there's nothing, it's how you develop it.

Tahmahkera's story begins in the Cache area where she grew up. She was born Jan. 29, 1918, to Judd Komah Wockmetooah and Edith Kowenah in the days before Native Americans were recognized as U.S. citizens. She is a descendant of legendary Chief Wild Horse of the Quahada band of Comanches.

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