Twins celebrate 80th birthday

Twins Sherry Hinkle, left, and Sharon Jones celebrate their 80th birthday at Monmouth Senior Center.

MONMOUTH — Sherry Hinkle and Sharon Jones celebrated their 80th birthday with friends at the Monmouth Senior Center on Aug. 31.

The senior center holds a communal birthday party each month.

Sherry lives in Monmouth with her husband Jack. Jones recently moved to Independence to be near them.

The twins have a lot of good memories and look forward to making more.

They were born in a farm house in Arkansas.

“She was born at 3:10 a.m.,” Jones said. “I was born at 3:30 a.m.”

Their grandmother, who delivered them, was surprised there was a second baby and that she was blue, Jones said.

“I turned blue because I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck,” Jones said.

Hinkle and Jones grew up in Tulsa, Okla. with their parents, an older brother and younger sister.

“It was fun most of the time,” Jones said.

The sisters still share laughs about some memorable times in their youth — drinking whiskey, going on double dates and learning to drive.

“I remember the first time she had me take a drink of whiskey so I wouldn’t tell on her,” Jones said. “Sherry told her friend, ‘You need to give Sharon one of those and make sure she doesn’t tell on me.’”

They were about 13 at the time.

“I was the trouble maker and she would rescue us, I guess,” Hinkle laughed.

That sisterly duty also including going on double dates.

“Daddy always made me go on dates with her, so she always had to get me a date,” Jones said. “He wanted to make sure she got home when she was supposed to.”

Hinkle said she was more interested in boys than her sister.

)When they were a bit older, their father taught them how to drive.

“Daddy taught us on an old ’46 Ford,” Jones said. “(With the) stick shift on the floor and Daddy wouldn’t let us learn how to drive it until he made sure that we knew how to change a tire.”

When it came to the actual driving, their father had some limits.

“Sometimes when you’d stop, it’d die,” Jones said. “Daddy would have to get out and get the starter to click. After about the third time, he’d say, “This is the last time I’m getting out and doing this!’”

As adults the sisters have done some traveling together.

Hinkle was a travel agent for more than a decade. So was her husband, that’s how they met.

“I was mother’s caretaker for several years,” Jones said. “Sherry and Jack would call me up and say, ‘We’re going to take you and mother on a cruise.’ So we got to go on a cruise.”

Among there destinations were St. Thomas, The Virgin Islands and Alaska.

“Mother loved those cruises,” Jones said.

They hope to travel together again soon.

Jones is recovering from a heart attack and currently uses and oxygen tank.

“They said when I was sitting still I didn’t have to have the oxygen on,” she said and she’ll be able to use a smaller unit. “It will last 12 hours so it will give us enough time to go where we’re going.”

Hinkle said she doesn’t have a dream vacation.

“We just like to travel,” she said. “I just wish to live a happy life.”

“We do live a happy life,” Jones said.

“Thanks to that guy right there,” Hinkle said, motioning to her husband Jack.

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