An original boomer: Barbara Jackson celebrates the 70th birthday of first-year baby boomers


By Sadie Hunter

In the coming year, millions of Americans will celebrate their 70th birthday. Many don’t consider the birthdays of those they don’t know, but 2016 will mark a 70-year anniversary of the start of the baby boomer generation.

Of the approximately 76 million people born during baby boomer years (1946-1964), the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are more than 65 million currently living, American-born baby boomers in the United States. Approximately 4 percent of that number is made up of “first-year boomers,” those born in 1946, post-World War II. Each following year of the baby boomer generation resulted in more births, until finally tapering in 1964.

Locally, Barbara Jackson of Noblesville will celebrate her 70th birthday Sept. 2, 2016.

“I’ve been thinking about it all year long, saying, ‘Oh wow. At the beginning (of 2016), I’ll be 70. We’ll all be turning 70.’” she said.

Jackson says she wants to get the word out about celebrating this time as original baby boomers get older in years.

“There’s so many of us, and we’re living longer. You know, 60 used to be considered old,” she said. “When I turned 65, I did research and saw (a statistic that said) original baby boomers were turning 65 (on average) every eight seconds that year.”

Jackson has lived in Noblesville 10 years, after moving from her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, just after her 60th birthday.

She is the former owner of Pullien’s City Cafeteria, which she opened after years of catering experience with her family and husband. The restaurant closed near the end of 2014, but since she’s been retired, she says she is still interested in running a food business, whether it be a small brick and mortar store or something mobile, like a food truck, selling comfort foods like chicken and noodles, tenderloins, fried okra, etc.

She is the second oldest of the children in her family, who are all also baby boomers, with the exception of her older brother Robert, who missed the mark by three years.

Like many, Jackson said she’s the result of her father, Army Capt. Jesse Pullien, returning home from World War II.

“It came to my mind that everybody knows somebody whether it’s a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother. I’d like to see that each month those (original baby boomers) be celebrated in some way,” Jackson said.

She said she hopes to see local residents get involved with planning events from small dinners and luncheons to larger events like a community dance or party.

“I would like to meet and know my fellow OBBs (original baby boomers), and I just felt responsible to get it out there,” she said.

After her father died at 39, when she was only 6 years old, Jackson said with her mother being left to raise six kids, they sometimes struggled to get by.

“But as long as mom and my brothers and sisters were there, I knew everything would be okay,” she said. “I’ve seen the lack of and when by catering business was booming, so I can appreciate both.”

Also in her life, Jackson said she has survived cancer, congestive heart failure and pregnancy complications.

“When you wake up and know you’re alive and breathing, you’re just so grateful for it. My whole plan for it is to celebrate reaching 70,” she said. “The Bible promises unto man 70 years.”

To get in touch with Jackson or share ideas about celebrations, email her at

Famous original baby boomers

Andre the Giant (pro wrestler, actor)

Jimmy Buffett (singer)

George W. Bush (former governor, president)

Bill Clinton (former governor, president)

Sally Field (actress)

Diane Keaton (actress)

Liza Minelli (actress, singer)

Dolly Parton (singer, songwriter)

Susan Sarandon (actress)

Steven Spielberg (director, producer, screenwriter)

Sylvester Stallone (actor)

Donald Trump (developer, TV personality, presidential candidate)

Fast facts

  • In June of this year, millennials (individuals born between 1982 and 2000) began outnumbering baby boomers.
  • By the end of 1964, baby boomers made up nearly 40 percent of the nation’s population.
  • Time Magazine named “the generation of 25 and under” its Person of the Year in 1966.

About Barbara Jackson

Family: Married 45 1/2 years (married Jan. 24, 1970) to husband James; six kids; seven grandchildren

Church: member of Redeeming Love Church, 1950 Conner St., Noblesville

Career: Formerly owned a catering company, Celebrations Catering, and Pullien’s City Cafeteria in Noblesville. Before moving to Indiana from Columbus, Ohio, she worked in a dentist’s office for more than 20 years.

Interesting fact: Jackson lived in Columbus, Ohio, most of her life. She says she can wake up in both Indiana and Ohio and feel completely at home. However, she also lived in New York for one year when she worked for the IRS.

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