Andrew Dys

‘The Barbaras’ gather in Rock Hill to celebrate 103rd birthday

All Barbaras: From left: Barbara Ardrey, Barbara Brewer, Barbara Griffith, Barbara Jeter
All Barbaras: From left: Barbara Ardrey, Barbara Brewer, Barbara Griffith, Barbara Jeter Andrew Dys

Brian Maneen walked up to the four-top table at Michael’s Rock Hill Grille at lunchtime Monday.

“More coffee, Barbara?” the waiter asked with a chuckle, as he filled her cup.

He then promptly served coffee to another Barbara. And then another Barbara. And finally a sweet tea for the last woman whose name was, yes, Barbara.

“Thank you,” said all four Barbaras.

At this table on this day – as on most every other day these four get together – you have to be named Barbara to join in, or you have to find another table.

All four of these Barbaras live in Rock Hill’s Heathridge neighborhood, which consists of a couple dozen homes.

“It’s a great neighborhood,” said Barbara Brewer, who was the guest of honor at Monday’s lunch because she will turn 103 on Saturday.

“All you have to do is be named Barbara.”

You could roughly guess the age range of these four woman just from the name they share. You shouldn’t, however, venture to guess the specific age of any of these Barbaras, or risk losing a limb.

To be in this exclusive group, there are no Brittanys or Jennifers or anything else. The name “Barbara” was popular generations ago, but it doesn’t even crack the top 100 on those “baby names” lists anymore. “Barbara” was the second- or third-most popular girl’s name from the Great Depression through World War II, but it has since gone out of style, apparently.

So what, say this bunch of Barbaras.

“Makes us special,” said Barbara Griffith.

“Unique,” said Barbara Jeter.

“The world needs more Barbaras,” said Barbara Ardrey, Barbara Brewer’s daughter.

Everybody at Michael’s on Monday was thrilled to have the Barbaras. Cook Nick Campbell even bought lunch for Barbara Brewer, the birthday girl.

In a weak moment or two, Barbara Brewer will call her daughter “Barb.” But not among this group.

“Together we are all Barbaras,” said Barbara Griffith.

Barbara Brewer was a “pink lady” at Piedmont Medical Center for 35 years. She still gets her nails and hair done every week. She looks like a movie star.

“I started out as a Barbara on Dec. 5, 1912,” said Barbara Brewer.

Barbara Brewer was asked if, pushing 103, there is anything she does not do anymore as a Barbara that she did long ago as a Barbara.

“I don’t date.”

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065