Tom Poston enjoyed a tethered balloon ride a few weeks after his 100th birthday.


Iredell County native Tom Poston’s family surprised him this week with a hot-air balloon ride.

A World War II veteran and retired Iredell County Schools superintendent, Poston turned 100 on May 5.

On Wednesday evening, Poston’s family gathered at Big oh! Balloons in the Cool Spring community. The weather was perfect as Poston took his first tethered balloon air ride over Page Farm.

As the balloon took to the air and gently traveled with the wind, Poston was calm and laughing as he looked out at the sights from the air.

Poston has never flown in a balloon, and his family wanted to make it happen.

“It was something he’s never done. He was in the Air Force and flew as a flight engineer. We wanted to send him back up in the air again,” said his daughter, Carolyn Bartlett.

Poston was accompanied by Bartlett’s daughter-in-law Cassie Bartlett. Charles Page was the pilot.

His granddaughter Paisley Bartlett joined him on another tethered ride.

Afterward family members Jack Elkins and Ali Bartlett took the Big oh! for a ride across Iredell County on an untethered flight.