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100-year-old Celebrates Her Birthday on 4th of July -- on a Harley

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Many Americans celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks and a barbecue, but one local senior rode out the big day with an American legend. Monday marks her 100th birthday.

America shares a birthday with Ruth Stewart. Stewart says, "when I was a kid, I thought they were celebrating for me."

Stewart turns 100 years-old this Fourth of July. And as the country celebrates with fireworks, this former music teacher celebrates not with a bang, but with a roar - and a leather jacket.

"With all of the studs, look at that," a loved one says.

"I'm gonna take a ride on the motorcycle," Stewart says.

The Stoughton senior has always wanted to ride a Harley Davidson. "And I said if I were 20 years younger, I would have one 'cause they're so beautiful," she says.

So, this Independence Day family and friends gave Stewart the freedom to fulfill a lifelong dream. "I said ... gonna be safe ... 3 wheeler," family friend Karen Berg says of the idea. "She said well, I want to do it ... and so there was no question."

And so without hesitation Stewart rode through the streets of downtown Stoughton -- with one small problem. "I said I thought we'd go faster than this," Stewart says afterward. Berg says, "she wanted 35, she got 33."

But Stewart says she also got more than she ever expected for her 100th birthday. "I just never thought be like this," she says.

A greeting from the King of Norway ... Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle ...
And dozens of family and friends from all corners of the earth.

Two local Harley Davidson riders volunteered their time and their bike to give Stewart the ride from her home to her birthday celebration.


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