Image: Sally Gordon
Nati Harnik  /  AP
Sally Gordon, an assistant sergeant-at-arms at the Nebraska Legislature, smiles after a group of school children from Lexington, Neb., right, sang her "Happy Birthday," outside the Legislative Chamber in Lincoln, on Wednesday.
updated 3/26/2009 3:53:43 PM ET 2009-03-26T19:53:43

When Sally Gordon was born in 1909, workers hadn't even started building Nebraska's Capitol — where she still works.

On Thursday, her 100th birthday, hundreds of people came to honor the woman who has served as an assistant sergeant-at-arms, helping to maintain order in the Nebraska Legislature, for 26 years. She was an aide to three governors before that.

"When I don't work, I just go crazy," said Gordon, who has worked for more than 80 of her 100 years. "I'm a desperate housewife, and I'm allergic to housework."

Although she's slowed down a little, Gordon still walks to work at the Capitol when the weather's nice. Her son Jim calls her "the Energizer Bunny."

No plans of retiring soon
After the party, she headed upstairs and back to work, with no plans of retiring anytime soon.

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, a former state senator, recalled Thursday how he felt when Gordon had to tell him to hurry back to his seat for a vote.

"When Sally came and put her hand on my arm, her lightest admonition was like the heaviest weight," Beutler said. "I would sulk back to my chair."

Among her birthday gifts, Gordon got a CD recorded by lobbyists with songs like "Red Coat Sally," sung to the tune of "Mustang Sally." Its title refers to the red coats worn by sergeants-at-arms.

President Barack Obama sent Gordon a letter of congratulations.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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