From the burning of Ha Ha Tonka Castle to the opening of the Bagnell Dam, Grant Richards has seen all the lake has had to offer. Celebrating his 100th birthday on Jan. 30, Grant sat down with family to reminisce on some of those memories.

From the burning of Ha Ha Tonka Castle to the opening of the Bagnell Dam, Grant Richards has seen all the lake has had to offer. Celebrating his 100th birthday on Jan. 30, Grant sat down with family to reminisce on some of those memories.

The Richards family came to the lake in 1937 and have been active members of the community ever since. Grant is a World War II navy veteran and came back to the lake after his service, where he would stay for the remainder of his life. He said one of the things he still remembers from the war was being in the area of Iwo Jima and was able to witness the famous raising of the American flag. It was something he never forgot.

For years, Richards along with his father, GT, the family took over operations of what was then known as the Reveille newspaper. His father, well known for his photography skills, was credited as taking famous photos of the Ha Ha Tonka Castle burning, among the many incredible stories the two would cover.

Richards recalls the many differences of working in the newspaper business compared to modern methods. He says that working in the business at the time, something always seemed to be going on and the number of stories he had to cover were plentiful. So much so that Grant says it’s hard to pick one out of the bunch to call his favorite.

Grant worked for the Reveille his whole career until the business was bought from the family. During his retirement, Grant continued enjoying his lake life alongside family and raised horses. He says he owned 180 acres of farmland and raised horses and ponies for showing with his family. The family no longer raises horses, but Grant has fond memories of the work.

One of the biggest accomplishments Grant points out is his dedication to the Camdenton Rotary Club. His father founded the club and never missed a single meeting in his life. To honor and continue this legacy, Grant began going to meetings alongside his father and hasn’t missed a meeting either. Between the two, they’ve amassed decades of continued dedication to the Rotary.

“I told him that ‘If anything happens to you, I will carry on the Rotary,’” Grant said. “So I did.”

Now, one of Grant’s favorite things to do week-to-week is meet up with his coffee shop group at the Camdenton McDonalds and visit with one another. Grant’s daughter, Susan Bredeman ,says the people in Camdenton that take a part in the group are all Grant has ever known; they’re important to him.

When looking back at it all, besides the amazing memories of being a reporter at the lake and a veteran of World War II, Grant says there are two key factors in helping him get to 100-years-old.

“My secret? Oh, McDonalds and good living,” Grant said.