Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: Pamela Pospisil: 101 and ‘happy’

Is happiness the fountain of youth? Pamela Popsil’s daughter Robin believes that her mother reached 101 by always being a “happy person.”

I spent some time last week speaking with Robin Anderson about her 101-year-old mother who lives in Hilo Shores.

“She does not live by herself any more,” Robin pointed out, explaining that Robin’s sister lives a few houses down in Hilo and there are aides who come to help her out. Her name is Pamela Pospisil and she has lived on the Island since 1983. Pamela has three daughters and three granddaughters. Two of the daughters and a niece live here.

When I asked Robin what she thought helped her mom get to 101, she told me that she’s “always been a happy person.”   

I learned that Pamela was born in Connecticut and moved all over as a child. She did graduate from high school at 16 and desperately wanted to go to college but funds were not available. So she went into New York City and got a job as a receptionist at Murray and Sherman Insurance Company.

A friend set her up on a blind date with the man who would become her husband. Their meeting was set to be under a clock tower in Flushing. They hit it off and were married until her husband’s passing. He was a salesman and she became a full-time homemaker. The family lived in Huntington and would come out here to visit Aunt Hazel, Robin said.

“We’d come out here on an old wooden boat that my dad bought when I was five,” Robin explained, adding that she got to know the Island then.

She explained that her mother always loved sports. She played tennis and golf and went to many baseball games, particularly the Long Island Ducks. Pamela also liked to spend time doing crossword puzzles and playing Scrabble.

“Mother learned to cook after she got married and had certain dishes that she did well, noting that “We had lots of tongue and lamb.”

Pamela loves the beach and spends a great deal of time in nice weather on her deck, I was told. She also cherishes visits from her daughter’s dog, Maizy.

“She also loves to sing and participate in family activities and really likes her rides in the car,” Robin told me.

I also learned that she was a fantastic typist, able to do 110 per minute. Pamela was also a shorthand expert who always made her Christmas lists in shorthand so none of the kids could read them.

“She just loved the holidays,” Robin said, adding that she would always surprise us with a decorated tree.

So, I don’t know how many centenarians are living here but I think I’ll try to compile a list.

Meanwhile, I have learned from Sara Mundy at the Senior Center that a Zumba gold chair class will be offered free to anyone interested on Thursday, May 23, from 11 a.m. until noon. 

Susan Binder will lead this first free class. I understand that these chair classes are designed for people with limited mobility, balance issues  and anyone else who wants a great seated workout. Participants can take breaks whenever they wish. It’s said to be a great core, arm and brain workout.

Call the center at (631) 749-1059 to get more information.