108th Birthday Wish - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/22/2007-Henderson

108th Birthday Wish

It started with a simple quiestion to a 107 year old East Texas Man, Cliff Hughes.

"If you could do anything what would you like to do and he said I'd like to fly one more time. So we said we gotta make it happen," Marilyn Johnson, Administrator of Henderson Health and Rehab.

So Wednesday, Cliff Hughes was taken up in a small plane by Johnny Walker, a pilot who had never met him before.

"The staff at the Henderson Rehabilitation Center called me and told me that had a birthday for cliff 108th birthdays one of his special wish was to get to fly again..he was a pilot. and I said sure id be glad to take him up

"He's a pilot so I guess were brothers in that sense....once you're a pilot your always a pilot." said Walker.

He learned how to fly during the 1920's and for Mr. Hughes flying was his passion.

"He built his own plane and his instructor crashed it teaching him to fly," said

His Stepdaughter, Barbara Cooper said "He talks about flying, we have pictures his plane. We have a model plane. He has always loved flying. He flew over love field when it was a cow pasture."

His family and friends showed up for his special flight, and like a celebrity Mr. Hughes went up into the clouds. In the air Mr. Hughes grabbed the wheel re-living life as a pilot.

While Mr. Hughes was up in the plane circling around staff members at Henderson Health and Rehab released 108 balloons in honor of every year of his life.

And with a smile He was back down. Asked If He Would you want to do it again next year? He Said "Oh sure I wont be much older than I am now."

Mr. Hughes taught square dancing until he was 100 years old.

Every year he lives on, those around him celebrate.

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