Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 11 September 2009 00:00
It was a birthday celebration worthy of one of Roslyn’s most prominent citizens.
On Saturday, Aug. 22, friends of well wishers of Alice Maloney gathered at Garden Cleaners in Roslyn Heights to celebrate Alice’s 100th birthday, making her, as far as anyone knows, the only person in Roslyn living into her second century.
The big day saw some rain, but that hardly dampened the festivities. For her birthday, Alice was surrounded by her friends, the Lukas’s, the proprietors of Garden Cleaners, plus Town of North Hempstead Councilman Wayne Wink.
Alice received citations from Councilman Wink, County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, and Govenor David Paterson.
The cake came with balloons and American flags, which was fitting since Alice considers herself a lifelong patriot, the proud mother of two veterans, Bill, who served in the Naval Reserve and Gene, a U.S. Army veteran during the Vietnam War.
The event was held at Garden Cleaners, an establishment that is not only friendly territory for Alice, but one that is celebrating its own 50th anniversary of business in Roslyn this year.
Earlier this summer, Alice related the secrets of living such a long and healthy life.
Even at age 100, Alice 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.
In addition, there is life in Roslyn itself. 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. This, too, has contributed to her long, healthy life.
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.”
Other secrets include her devotion to her Catholic faith and the power of prayer. 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 second century.