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Eastchester Seniors Share Their Wisdom

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. -- When Bill Weber was growing up in Eastchester around 1931, working farms dotted the landscape in town. There was a golf course where Town Hall now stands and a private country club, Vernon Hills, where Lake Isle is now located.

"I used to caddy there and on a good day I would come home with $1.50 in my pocket, and I was so happy," Weber, now 85, recalls.

But even though the seniors who spend their weekday afternoons with the Eastchester Senior Citizens group like to talk about the good old days, they also have a few thoughts about the current times.

"Everything is so competitive today," said Weber, who was a professional firefighter in Scarsdale for 25 years before he retired. "Those days were so much more carefree. Now we have stress."

On the other side of the room playing a card came for pennies were Fran Visconti, 80 and Faye Blasi, 91.

"Well I can tell you I am very happy to have this beautiful senior center," Visconti said. "It's close to home and easy to make friends here."

Blasi agreed that the senior group, hosted five days a week at Lake Isle, is a blessing.

"As you get older, it's good to get out when you can or you can get very depressed," Blasi said. "This place is great to be.

Visconti who has been married for more than 50 years said that she could not have predicted how marriage and commitment would have changed since the good old days.

"I don't approve of the way that celebrities ... have children with a young man who is not their father," Visconti said.

Blasi said she sometimes worries about how her great-grandchildren will fare.

"My great-granddaughter will  graduate high school this year," Blasi said. "I am happy that I am here to share that with her, but I worry about what her life will be like."

The ladies remember the days when drivers had to sit on line and wait to get a tank of gas, when ladies never left their houses without wearing a hat and gloves, and marriage lasted forever, no matter what.

"They were good days," Blasi said. "But we all have figured out right by now that we have little control over things that happen in the world. We just have control over how we live our own lives."

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