IDAHO, USA — A Tuesday in April may not stand out for a lot of people but, for veteran Franklin "Bus" Hudson, April 25 was pretty momentous because it was his 100th birthday.
"How do I feel? I feel real good...yeah I feel good," Hudson said. "Why is everybody here? It's my 54th birthday, we're celebrating, can't you understand? ha-ha."
He had a lot of visitors on his big day. "Bus" may be slow to get around these days but still quick with the jokes. That sense of humor, and good looks, is what charmed his wife Louise 72-years-ago, "he's still handsome," she said.
Hudson was born on the plains of west Texas; he said the doctor rode in a buggy to the house to deliver him.
He ended up following his brothers into the army in World War II.
"I was a cowboy in an army uniform," he said, "but I'll tell you one thing, I was a damn good soldier."
His first brush with death came on the trip across the Atlantic, his ship dodged depth charges and icebergs. He said he would never forget that night, "I thought we were going to freeze to death."
Hudson's European tour began in France and continued northeast.
"I was with Patton's third army over in Germany. I was a tank commander and
I didn't even know what I was doing," Hudson said.
"Bus" remembers having to figure out how to follow the infantry into a town one morning on a road too narrow for tanks, but he survived.
He returned to Texas at the end of the war to tend his horses. A rodeo brought him to Boise the first time in 1957, and he returned for good in 1976, buying a 17-acre ranch in Eagle. He raised a family that now extends to four generations.
"You know they say the time really flies when you're having fun and we must have a helluva lot fun because time sure got away with us," he said. "It sneaks up on us... next thing I know we're old. I'm crippled, I can't walk, I'm deaf. I can't hear, I'm blind as a bat, but thank God I still got my driver's license.”
Besides having a great life story, a loving family and a long life, he also still has a sharp sense of humor.
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