Lifelong Tarrytown resident Leonard Abraham and native New Yorker Ned Rose have seen many world changes during the past 10 decades, and every Wednesday their histories collide at the JCC Men's Club.
Last week both men were honored with a centennial party at the JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown.
“The (Men’s) Club is amazing, and these two really enjoy it,” said Danielle McAuley, Community Relations, at the JCC. “Think of what they’ve seen in their lives and how the world has changed.”
Ned Rose and his son, Harold, are one of the oldest – and youngest – members at their weekly Men’s Club meetings.
“I was investigating programs in which I felt my dad would feel comfortable participating, never thinking that I, too, would be attending,” Harold Rose said. “I went to a few meetings and thought my dad would enjoy them.”
Harold said he planned to leave his father at the JCC and pick him up after the program was finished. “Well, fast forward and I’m still coming.”
Ned Rose married his wife Ilene in 1932; she predeceased him. In addition to his son Ned he has two daughters, Cynthia Garrett and Judith Rose-Glover, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Ned continues to stay sharp and in shape at 100 years of age with a dedicated regimen.
"He's taken wonderful care of himself during these years, and we're so proud of him," said his daughter, Cynthia Garrett. "He exercises every day, 15-pound and 20-pound weights. He's very active, he walks and takes the steps two at a time on the second floor of his garden apartment condo. He's still in great shape, keeps his muscles toned, and he walks every day and loves to read."
For Leonard, support from his sons and daughters-in-law, good friends from the JCC and his congregation at Temple Beth Abraham (in Tarrytown) – in addition to living in Tarrytown all his life and having excellent genes – “have contributed tremendously to his longevity,” said his son Gershon.
“The most important thing for him as he reaches 100 is that he still has his marbles,” Gershon said. “He able to live independently and manage his own affairs.”
Abraham is a trove of local knowledge. He was born in Tarrytown one year before the hospital was opened and remembered a trolley ran past his birth place – an apartment above a store on Main Street, where the fire department is now - from the railroad station to White Plains and Mamaroneck.
“To negotiate the big hills from the station past Hackley School, it was necessary for the trolley cars to generate additional power when the conductors would signal each other by using cogeneration (using two forms of energy from one source),” he said.
Abraham estimated that until 1920 he watched fire equipment pulled by horses on unpaved streets that were watered to keep down the dust. At age 6 or 7 he attended bond drives for World War I in the Village.
“They had a tank on Broadway and it left its mark on the newly paved asphalt,” he said. Bond drives for World War II were held at the Washington Irving High School stadium, and included community entertainment, he noted.
After graduating from high school in 1928, he received an engineering degree from New York University. Interested in cars, photography and radios, Abraham worked at the Chevrolet Plant in North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow), and at one time he was an assessment officer in the village.
While both men find the time to continue their life-long learning at the weekly JCC Men's Club meeting, it's obvious they have a lot to teach others about living well.
"These are two very vibrant people,” McAuley said. “They’re so full of life."