Georgia Poole turns 100 years old on Aug. 26, or 100 years young, as she puts it.
Poole, known as Miss Georgia to those closest to her, traveled from King George, Va., to Richmond on Wednesday to celebrate her upcoming birthday with a day at Redskins training camp.
“Ever since Vince Lombardi was the coach,” she said, when I asked how long she’s been a Redskins fan. “Remember him? Vince Lombardi. Since then, I’ve been all Washington Redskins.”
Poole has one son, five grandchildren and three great children. Not all of them followed in her burgundy-and-gold footsteps.
“My son is a Cowboys fan. I don’t know how that happened,” she laughed. “But most of the rest of them are Redskins fans. But I love them all the same. My granddaughter gave me a Redskins quilt the other Christmas, and she gave her father a Cowboys one. Mine’s much prettier.”
She sat in her wheelchair during the morning walkthrough, close to the field in her gold shirt with a Redskins logo and a sign declaring “Redskins biggest fan is turning 100.” While she insists she was there to see the whole team, she admitted that she was hoping to catch eye of a particular starting quarterback.
“Oh, I love RGIII,” she told me. “He’s good, he’s young and he plays real well. You know how he made all those touchdowns? He’s just a leader.”
After practice, Poole was wheeled onto the field, where RGIII was waiting to meet his oldest fan.
“How are you? It’s good to see you,” she said, looking up at him. “My favorite player. I’ve been looking at you and wanted to meet you for so long. You’re doing a wonderful job.”
RGIII knelt down next to her wheelchair with a “Yes, ma’am,” autographed her sign and gave a delighted Poole a hug and a kiss.
“I know you’re tired now,” she said to the quarterback. “Are you tired?”
“Nah,” he replied. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Poole left training camp with a big smile on her face, but before she did she offered some simple advice for living a long and happy life.
“Be kind to one another,” she said. “And do the best you can to help one another.”