For Immediate Release Media Contacts: Collin Nash and Sid Nathan
Aug. 25, 2010 (516) 869-7794
Town of North Hempstead Honors 105-Year-Old Resident, a Bowler With 130 Average
Manhasset, NY--As North Hempstead’s aging in place initiative continues to make inroads as a national model, Supervisor Jon Kaiman, the Town Board and other elected officials paid tribute recently to Westbury resident Gene Scala—three days after he turned 105.
“Increasing numbers of us manage to get to the age where we acquire a unique historical perspective,” Supervisor Kaiman remarked during last Tuesday’s gathering to honor Scala in the board room at Town Hall. “But unlike this gentleman, few of us live lives that not only span decades, but generations. We honor Mr. Scala tonight not only for his extraordinary life but for the message he sends to seniors: keep going.”
Dressed in a cap and necktie bedecked with thousands of sequins he sewed himself, Scala, a beautician, musician and tailor, credited his longevity to a simple approach to life.
“Be kind to everybody,” he said, adding: “I’ve had a very good life.”
Scala was born in Italy in 1905. He moved with his family in 1919 to Brooklyn, ultimately opening Gene’s Beauty Shop in 1931. He worked as a tailor and beautician before relocating to East Islip where he lived for 40 years.
He married three times and had three children, all of whom he outlived.
A saxophonist and clarinetist for more than 80 years, Scala said he played for many years in Greenwich Village night clubs and a community orchestra in Brooklyn.
In his later years, however, bowling succeeded music as his passion.
Scala, who bowls every Wednesday in a senior league, is said to be the second-oldest league bowler in the United States.
“My bowling game is very good,” he said, alluding to his130 average. “I plan to keep it up for at least another year.”
Caption: (L to R) Councilman Angelo P. Ferrara, Councilwoman Maria-Christina Poons, Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Gene Scalla, Councilwoman Viviana Russell, Town Clerk Leslie Gross, Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, Councilman Fred Pollack, Councilwoman Lee Seeman