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Bright & Brief

January 14, 1989

DENTON, N.C. (AP) _ Like many people who have ″a certain age,″ Maggie Grubb Lambeth gets a little offended when asked how old she is.

″I’m not that old,″ said Mrs. Lambeth, who along with her identical twin sister turned 105 on Friday.

Mrs. Lambeth’s sister, Allie Grubb Hill, doesn’t mind talking about her age, but then she’s a few minutes younger.

The sisters, who are listed as the world’s oldest living identical twins by the Guinness Book of World Records, celebrated at their home in the Mountain Vista Health Park. The two women lived in Davidson County all their lives, never more than two miles apart, and moved to the rest home two years ago.

″It’s the Lord that has kept us here this long,″ Mrs. Hill said.

Between them, Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Lambeth had 20 children, 15 of whom are living. They have 48 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren and 31 great-great- grandchildren.

Hazel Briles, 67, the second-youngest of Mrs. Lambeth’s nine children, said her mother kept her house spotless and her yard raked until she was in her 90s.

″She just enjoyed doing things like that,″ Mrs. Briles said. ″She was a real active person. Most everybody in our family is real active.″

The two sisters rely on each other for companionship, and somehow manage to keep each other going, Mrs. Briles said.

″They just don’t make them like that anymore,″ she said.

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Fifteen gifts that blew off the roof of a van on Interstate 80 on Christmas Eve have been returned to a couple by a state roads worker who tracked them down through a department store label.

Michael and Julianne Wiegel of Lafayette, Colo., lost the Christmas presents as they drove through Nebraska but did not discover the gifts were missing until they arrived at the home of relatives in Wisconsin.

″I was in tears,″ Mrs. Wiegel said. ″At that point, I figured a Nebraska wheat farmer probably would find them in his field next spring.″

David Luusua, a maintenance worker for the Nebraska Roads Department, found the packages that same day, strewn along the shoulder of Interstate 80 about a mile west of the Platte River bridge, between Omaha and Lincoln.

Jerry Johnson, maintenance office supervisor, said the workers called the State Patrol, but no one claimed the gifts over the next week or so. Johnson then began some detective work.

″Some of the packages had skidded on the pavement and I noticed the wrapping on one had torn,″ Johnson said. ″I saw a label on one of the boxes from a department catalog store and it was addressed to a lady in Lafayette, Colo.″

Johnson said he called the woman and told her what he had found and she identified them.

″I was really surprised,″ Mrs. Wiegel said.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Tourists could thank their lucky stars for Friday the 13th at the Betsy Ross House.

Nearly 600 people received 13-star flags Friday at the home of the woman who many believe designed the first American flag, according to William Kingsley, executive director of the house a few blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

″It’s fantastic,″ Kingsley said. ″We probably have five times as many visitors as we did on a comparable day a year ago. The weather is good and that helps.″

Visitors received 12-inch-by-18-inch flags, which the house also hands out each Flag Day.

They included a tour bus from a New York high school for Hispanic and Far Eastern immigrants, who received an extra flag for their principal. Kingsley said the group’s teacher had told the students in Spanish to thank Kingsley in English.

″It was touching,″ he said.

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