Jim Strickland sits with friends at McDonald’s in Silsbee during his 94th birthday celebration. -Photo by Danny Reneau
Jim Strickland is 94 years young and still manages to head to McDonald's for a cup of coffee and to swap tales with his coffee drinking buddies on a regular basis.
Last Wednesday was his birthday, and the gang decided to bring some cakes to the party and celebrate the birthday in fashion.
Strickland was born and raised on a farm near Lindon, Texas. He says he nearly starved to death on the farm, so he decided to leave. He headed to New Mexico in 1935 and stayed there for three or four years.
Friends say his working career was interrupted by World War II and he served distinctively in Southeast Asia. However, he either can't remember or refused to offer any comments about that period of his life.
He seems very quick witted and he probably remembers well, but savors his memories for the more recent years.
He then moved to Southeast Texas and started a career with Sun Oil that lasted over 38 years. He worked as a research engineer, but did whatever he was asked to and says he did a lot of jobs.
Today, at 94, he lives in Silsbee on Carriage Lane and his primary hobby are his visits to McDonald's. While there, he normally runs into a lot of the same guys and gals.
Strickland says jokingly, "I don't associate with most of them. I just drink coffee with them."
Strickland relates that he quit making coffee at the house because he thought going to McDonald's was easier than washing the coffee pot. He says he doesn't really like a lot of the fellows he drinks coffee with, but hates being rude to them so he keeps on coming for coffee.
His friends really don't have a lot to say about him, they just say his primary virtue is that he likes to visit and talk.
Strickland has one son, Donald who now is retired and lives in Silsbee.
Other than that he has little family in the Silsbee area. He was married to Pete and Mary McKinney's sister, Edith who passed away in 2004.
Strickland's seems to treasure their relationship but says, "I'm not really kin to them, I just married into the family."
Other than the brief tidbits of information that he drops as he visits in a non-stop conversation, Strickland says, he doesn't want to comment much but says, "I've pretty much forgot everything I know."