DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — When Detroit Lakes resident Tillie Dybing was born, a new Model-T cost less than $500. She never could have known how much history she would witness during her life.
As she paged through an old photo album Tuesday, Jan. 5, the 107-year-old woman flashed her sparkly red nails. Wednesday, she was scheduled to get her hair done.
"She wants her nails done. We get a call every few weeks; she asks for more more nail polish," said Tillie Dybing's son, Myron Dybing.
A resident of Ecumen Detroit Lakes community home since 2015, Tillie has recently recovered after being diagnosed with COVID-19. She fared pretty well against the virus, saying only that she slept all the time.
At age 107, Dybing is one of Minnesota's oldest residents who has received the vaccine for the coronavirus;A survivor of two historic health crises living to tell the story of both.
Myron Dybing said his mother is a special woman.
"Different people have asked what her secret to old age is, and she jokes that she had a cocktail every night at 5 o'clock," Myron Dybing said. "My dad used to say she was a cowboy drinker. She used to drink whiskey waters."
Tillie Dybing was born in 1913 in a sod house in Manfred, N.D., in rural Wells County. Today, she is living through her second pandemic. She remembered the cure during the 1918 flu pandemic was her mom's cooking.
"Mother cooked a kettle full of chicken noodle soup, then my father would go to the neighbors and feed the cattle and feed the people who were sick," Tillie said.