More than 1,000 senior citizens celebrated the most senior of themselves at an enormous party last week at Glendale Civic Auditorium. Guests of honor were 183 members of the Los Angeles Federation of Senior Citizen Clubs who are 90 or older.
"There's always a lot of talk about the negative effects of growing old. But there are a lot of advantages and privileges, too," said Gal Lum, supervisor of senior recreation for the City of Los Angeles. "To be 90 years old is really an accomplishment in itself. Not many people reach that."
Among those honored was Hans Freyman, 91, of Highland Park. A retired movie projectionist who worked with silent films, Freyman attributed his longevity to nothing more esoteric than taking a walk every day. Asked the best thing about growing old, he said: "I'm not working any more."
Master of ceremonies comedian Dick Shawn regaled his audience with jokes, ribald and otherwise, on the topic of getting older. "Where else can I go where they still call me Junior?" he said.
Dottie's Dancers, a bespangled group of women in their 60s and older, showed their spryness with an energetic display of tap-dancing, which drew loud cheers.
Also attending were several Los Angeles City Council members who announced the names of their constituents being honored.
Honorees from clubs in the Northeast Los Angeles area included:
Mary Lyall, 90; Mary Shirinian, 96, and Freyman from Eagle Rock Recreation Seniors. Ethel Laudelius, 91; Lauro De Prida, 93; Elsie E. Romero, 90; E. A. Tucker, 90, and Florida F. Watson, 93, from Los Feliz Seniors.
Alma Barton, 90; Jennie A. Connolly, 92, and Martha Vieth, 92, from 1560 Senior Citizen Club of Eagle Rock. Mary Strosser, 91, of York Seniors. Mary Strosser, 91, of Highland Park Friendly Seniors and Alice Rothrock, 91, of Echo Park Seniors.