It isn’t every day that a gal turns 100, so friends and family came from near and far, officials stopped by with proclamations, and everyone stayed late to help Linda Anechiarico celebrate her centennial.
The party was held October 15, even though her actual birthday is October 20, because that way more could come.
“I have to say I was surprised by the number of guests,” she said, “but it was wonderful to see people I hadn’t seen in 40 years! It was also wonderful to be surrounded by my family.”
From her screened front porch, which was festooned with balloons, she greeted well-wishers. Linda had a smile for all of them. A poster with her picture on it was quickly covered with birthday greetings. Two of her sons hosted a trivia game — all about her. Guests were told not to bring gifts, but they paid no attention.
Looking back, she said she’d indeed had a wonderful life.
“After graduating from Edison High School in Mt. Vernon, I wanted to spend as much time in New York City as I could, so I took a communications course and got a job as a secretary for Seagram’s Distillery, which had offices in the Chrysler Building.”
Those were some of the best years of her life, but better ones were to come.
“What I’m proudest of is raising a big family,” she continued. “Living near Oakland Beach and Playland made it easy to raise five children. We didn’t have a boat, but we had friends with boats.”
And she and her late husband Michael had lots of friends and joined organizations and rejoiced in small-town life.
She beamed when we asked where her five children were today. Her youngest, David, lives in Rye. Now retired, he was in labor relations at Covanta Industrial Waste Management for 30 years. Judy lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and is a Special Education teacher. Mike, who lives in Mamaroneck, is in project management for Eastern Design Tile & Marble. Barry, a retired clinical psychologist who lives in Maryland, spends as much time as possible playing jazz saxophone. Frank is a published author and teaches Political Science at Hamilton College.
Linda keeps up with her nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren through Nixplay — “Watching them on screen is a lot more exciting than any television show.”
These days, the world comes to visit Linda because her mobility is limited. She looks forward to Wednesday communion with Fr. Epifanio from Resurrection Church and everyday deliveries from Meals on Wheels.
The secret to Linda Anechiarico’s long and happy life? Hard work, constancy, an abundance of love and curiosity, and finding and appreciating the good in the world.