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'Gossip columnist' celebrates 100th birthday

Crystal Olson opens a birthday card from friend JoyCe Woods. The Park Rapids resident celebrated her 100th birthday Monday. (Riham Feshir / Enterprise)

Park Rapids long time resident and the Enterprise's former "gossip columnist" celebrated her 100th birthday Monday.

Born and raised in Badoura, Crystal Olson was a stay at home mother who worked on a farm with her husband, took care of her two children and appreciated the extra money she received from writing the column.

Officially called "Local Happenings," the column told different stories of area residents from Akeley, Park Rapids and Nevis residents and kept readers up-to-date on their personal lives.

"Pat Evertz was pleasantly surprised Saturday when an old schoolmate he hadn't seen in 47 years, Arlie Lewis of Detroit Lakes, stopped to see him," wrote Mrs. Crystal Olson in a June 23, 1966 issue of the Enterprise.

From stories like Ms. Jean's coming home to spend a week's vacation, to Mrs. C. F. who is better now after battling a severe attack of flu, the column included a variety of short blurbs about different area residents.

Crystal said she loved writing the column and loves "everything" about living in the northwoods except for blizzards.

Her family and friends gathered at the Heritage Living Center Monday to celebrate 100 years of Crystal, her love for her family, church and friends.

"She's made a lot of wonderful friends," JoyCe Woods, friend of Crystal's said. "She's a true example of Christianity."

Crystal's daughter Betty Case, nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren were among more than 100 guests who came out to her open house Monday.