Allie McDaniel and Allene Tillman do nearly everything together, even after 88 years.

The two Keys-area octogenarians are identical twins – the only set of twins out of 10 children, all girls, in their immediate family.

“We was always Mom and Dad’s pets,” said Allie, the more vocal of the pair. “Mom and Dad spoiled us a little, but we was the ones that did all the work.”

Sitting at Allene’s kitchen table Wednesday afternoon, the two were almost impossible to tell apart, aside from their clothing: Allie was dressed in pink, Allene in blue.

According to the twins, their mother would always make sure the two were dressed identically.

“Momma would save up her egg money and rode the mare to buy enough fabric so we could be dressed just alike,” said Allie. “My eldest sister would sew the dresses.”

Allie and Allene were born Feb. 6, 1918, and attended Ryder and Stone Chapel schools. With the exception of Allene’s brief stay in Checotah, neither has lived much farther than a mile from the other, “as the crow flies,” said Allie.

“Used to be, we’d walk over the hill, through the woods and across the creek to visit each other, and it’s about a mile,” said Allie. “It’s farther if you have to drive.”

Two of Allene’s daughters, Kita Asbill and Vicki Buck, are a stone’s throw from their mother’s home of more than 30 years.

“I live right next door,” said Buck. “And Kita lives right across the street.”

The family is planning a birthday party from 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4, at Victorious Life World Outreach Church at Keys, and members have been busy inviting friends and relatives to attend.

“We used to sing at weddings, during church services and at funerals,” said Allie. “All us girls sang, but me and Allene did it more than the others.”

In their younger days, the twins were known to occasionally play pranks on their boyfriends, pretending to be the “other” twin.

“Allene has a small gap in her teeth, but if she kept her mouth shut, nobody could tell us apart!” said Allie.

Allie remembers when they each got married.

“We did that together, too!” she said. “We both got married on the same day – Oct. 17, 1936, right there on the [Cherokee] Courthouse Square.”

Allene said one of the younger sisters was a bit envious of the closeness of the twins.

“We were always together,” said Allene. “Well, we had one younger sister, May, she always had to be a tagalong.”

Allene has lived in the home where she is now for more than 30 years; Allie’s home was destroyed by fire some years ago, but she has since rebuilt.

“That [fire] is the saddest thing,” said Allie. “Dogs were barkin’ and all kinds of noise was goin’ on. We’d been to visit a sick friend, and when we got back, the house was too far gone to do much of anything. But we built a new one right in the same spot.”

Allie couldn’t remember a time when the two argued.

“Yeah, we fussed over somethin’, one time,” said Allene. “But it was too silly to remember.”

You’re invited

Friends, family and well-wishers are invited to the 88th birthday party of Allie McDaniel and Allene Tillman, from 2-4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at Victorious Life World Outreach in Keys.


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