Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 31 July 2009 00:00
Longtime Roslyn resident Alice Maloney claims she “never wanted to be 100.” But the big day is coming and on Saturday, Aug. 22, Garden Cleaners in Roslyn Heights will host the 100th birthday party for Alice, who has now spent over half of her long life in Roslyn.
Anthony Porretto, student at Fordham University and a friend of Ms. Maloney recently interviewed Alice about the secrets to her amazing longevity, and passed along the information to The Roslyn News.
A native of Flatbush, Brooklyn, Alice moved to Great Neck when her youngest child was 2 years old. In 1947, she moved down the road to Roslyn and has stayed there since.
Alice gave two reasons for the move. “It was a nice countrified area; [plus] I wanted my children to go to school at St. Mary’s,” the Catholic school in Roslyn Harbor.
For all these decades, Alice has remained more than content with life in Roslyn. Asked what she liked most about Roslyn as a community, Alice answered: “The atmosphere; it’s very countrified. When I first moved here, the people were not wealthy, but [they] lived very comfortable lives. I loved it. I had a lovely home in Great Neck, but it doesn’t compare to here. It’s very homey, and I like the people. I loved the pond where I ice-skated. I skated there until I was 75 years old.”
Asked also what was the most exciting thing to have happened to her since she moved to Roslyn, Alice answered with her typical humor “Besides my dog, Willie, nothing, except for falling on my head when I was ice skating.”
Of course, Alice has lived an eventful life. Both of her sons have served in the military: Bill in the Naval Reserves and Gene in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
How to Live to 100
On the occasion of her centennial, Alice related the secrets of her long life.
At the top of the list is exercise. Alice still rides a stationary bike every day. Up until last summer, she went swimming on a regular basis, and claimed to have a good golf swing until she was 92.
Alice enjoys the company of her Roslyn neighbors, including those at Garden Cleaners. Her dog, Willie, a 15-year-old Bichon, remains a faithful companion.
Even well into her ninth decade, Alice claims to love Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream and “anything chocolate.”
Unlike millions of New Yorkers, Alice, in her senior years, did not flee to a warm weather state. Instead, she has remained in her beloved Roslyn, where she loves winter and the outdoors in general.
Finally, there is her Catholic faith. Alice puts all trust in God, to whom she prays throughout the day.
“Being happy, a glass of wine every afternoon at 5:00 p.m., a little dog, and two wonderful aides,” is how Alice sums up the daily routine that will now take her into her 100th year.
Garden Cleaners, located on 47 Mineola Ave., is celebrating its own anniversary this summer. That establishment has been in Roslyn Heights for 50 years, not as long as Alice’s 100 years on the planet, but the two happy anniversaries will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 22, a gala event that the public is welcomed to attend.