Mville resident turns 100 - So many candles firefighters helped with cake
August 28, 2008 · Updated 10:00 AM
MARYSVILLE When Angelo Curro has a birthday nowadays, the cake almost bakes itself.
The Marysville resident had 100 candles on his cake last week, so many that the wax was melting on the floor and the fire department was on standby just in case.
Curro celebrated a century of life at the Grandview Village retirement home on Jan. 4, where about 75 friends listened to Mayor Dennis Kendall read a proclamation honoring the New York native, who is still feisty and verbose at his advanced age. Curro regaled his audience with tales of taking his wife to the hospital in 1925, when he paid the $3 per day fee out of his own pocket: the $10 charge for her operation included day and nighttime nursing care, he added.
After a slide show with pictures of the centenarian as a young man and with his mother, Curro told of brushes with New York mobsters and the struggles of supporting his mother and seven siblings after his father died.
It was hard for me at that time, but God was with me, Curro said in his pugnacious tone, adding that he would say five Hail Marys on waking and going to bed.
There were so many candles on his cake that the wax melted on the floor. He was able to blow the candles out himself, but three firefighters from the Marysville Fire District were on hand for fun, yukking it up with Curro.
He came to the city at the invitation of relatives in 2004 after living his entire life in the Big Apple, and both of his parents were from Sicily. To this day he looks and acts like a character in a Martin Scorsese movie, and to hear him tell the tale, he came close to living such a life back east.
The eldest of eight children, he shouldered the responsibility for his siblings and mother, working during the Great Depression at any odd jobs he could find, when the family lived on beans, potatoes and macaroni. At that time he made about $14 per week, paying $20 per month for a three-room apartment. Curro later worked as a bookbinder for 43 years and is a God-fearing man who thinks the creator has been good to him because he took good care of his mother. When Curro rose to be a trustee in his company he paid his workers good wages as well.
After a century of living Curros ears dont work too well, and if you spend a few minutes listening to him you might be deaf too, because his vocal cords work just fine, and his grip is as tough as he is. He loves to garden and does most of the recycling at Grandview Village, according to Executive Director Debra Loughrey-Johnson, who warned that if workers dont keep their desks clean they are liable to find that Curro has taken care of things in his own way.
He is a joy to have around, Loughrey-Johnson said.
When she told him the mayor was coming, Curro said he wanted the president, and then laughed. He has a little arthritis in his neck but doesnt use a cane, walker or wheelchair, and he expresses his feisty personality by playing tricks on his friends with a twinkle in his eye.