FORT EDWARD — Anna Brummer only wanted one thing for her 105th birthday.
Wearing a silver and pink tiara on her head and an orange corsage on her wrist, the centenarian sipped her glass of Scotch on Friday surrounded friends and family at Fort Hudson Nursing Center.
Brummer enjoyed a round of “Happy Birthday” and a hefty slice of cake.
“I didn’t put 105 candles on it,” said Unit Manager Donna Hopkins, “because it’s a fire hazard.”
Brummer was born in the Bronx on Sept. 27, 1914, on 165th Street, she said. Life was nice, but it wasn’t exciting.
Kids in those days didn’t play in the streets. They played in people’s houses, focused on card games like poker.
Brummer worked as a sales clerk at Kresge’s, which was the predecessor to Kmart. She made $12 a week selling five and dime merchandise.
“I liked it. It was nice to work among mostly women," she said. "They’re very nice. They appreciate you.”
She stayed at Kresge’s for more than 10 years.
“I would have worked there longer had they stayed there longer,” Brummer said. “But they moved on too.”
She married Edwin Brummer on Nov. 17, 1940. They were married 56 years. Edwin passed away 22 years ago.
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She raised her own family, including her one son, Richard Brummer, on Long Island.
Richard described his mother as “very loving”
“I don’t want to say that my mother and father were strict, because they weren’t,” he said. “But back then, your parents told you to do something and you did it. You obeyed them. The three of us got along fine.”
After Richard went to grade school, Anna worked in the school cafeteria in Massapequa, on Long Island.
She said the secret to longevity is being nice to people.
“Keeps you young when everything’s going smooth,” she said.
But her son says it was the nightly glass of Christian Brothers Golden Sherry that kept her parents young.
“That’s what my mother and father used to do,” he said. “They’d sit up, watch the news and have a glass of wine together before they went to bed.”
Back in 1984, Richard got his parents interested in ham radio. Anna Brummer got her license at the age of 69 and is now one of the country’s longest-living amateur radio operators. Her call sign is N2FER.
“She made a statement at her 80th birthday party. She said, ‘I’m going to live to be 100,’” Richard recalled. “And I started thinking, ‘Gee, when she’s 100 I’m going to be 66,’ and she blew past that.”
Richard said his mother definitely has a will to live.
“Valuing your friendships,” he said, “and that glass of wine.”