If you've eaten at the Taco John's on Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls, there's a good chance you've come across Verna Miller. She's worked there for 12 years and stands out for her friendly conversations and her mature age. On Monday, people at the restaurant made her the center of attention.
Miller may be well beyond retirement age,
"I wipe all the tables and take all the tacos to the people," Miller said.
But the 12-year Taco John's veteran is young at heart and isn't ready to give this up.
"Well, because it's so much fun," Miller said.
Her dedication, conversations and feisty attitude have made quite the impact on her co-workers and her customers. So, naturally they had to make her 90th birthday one to remember.
The celebration started early Monday morning, when instead of catching the bus, she got a stylish ride.
"I could just faint," Miller said.
A black-stretch limo pulled up right to her driveway and rolled out the red carpet, snatching her for a ride around town.
"Honest to Pete, I just can't get over this," Miller said.
Of course, the shock did finally wear off, and Miller's usual stories started to flow.
"You know, I wore my dress for my party, you know. I was saving it for my funeral; I had wore it when I was 80 years old and thought, 'Well, I can't find a dress long enough for me,'" Miller said.
So she may as well wear it now, seeing as she says she still feels like a 16-year-old girl.
"I get too many kisses,; I don't get too many do I," Miller said.
The gracious birthday girl was all jokes until pulling up to work, where she was greeted with yet another surprise. Her friends at Taco John's planned a surprise party for the woman whose stories endlessly entertain those eating.
Taco John's wants the community to celebrate Miller's birthday so it's giving a discount on tacos and she's shocked by that. While so many people in the community know her by the stories she tells in the restaurant, what they don't know is it's them that brings joy to her.
"They treat me royally; that's what they do," Miller said.
That royal treatment continued as she did interviews and posed for pictures; everyone wanting to talk with the woman who has such a will to live and work.
"I've got to keep active. Because that's the only way when you're older. I don't feel like I'm 90 so until I feel like I'm 90, I'll work," Miller said.
That could be a while because she's not giving up her day job anytime soon.