Age is only a number to centenarian


November 21, 1999|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"I HAVE SEEN her outside raking leaves," Alice Arlauskas says of her friend, Marie Hartman. "I don't know if she is weed-whacking this year, but she was last year. She is a remarkable person."

This might not seem so outstanding -- unless you know that Hartman celebrates her 100th birthday today.

Hartman, a Ferndale resident, planned to mark the occasion with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and many friends with a buffet dinner at La Fontaine Bleu.

According to daughter Dolores Parenti, during the last two weeks Hartman has also been feted by organizations and clubs to which she belongs. There have been birthday cakes, a corsage, gifts and many cards and words of congratulations.

Hartman is an active member of the Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights, and her birthday was recognized at the club meeting. Marvin Bond, chief of staff for County Executive Janet S. Owens, presented her with a signed County Executive Citation, and a ceremonial resolution signed by state Sen. James E. DeGrange Sr., a District 32 Democrat.

Kathy Sauble, legislative aide to Councilman Pamela G. Beidle, added a County Council citation to the collection.

Asked her secret of long life, Hartman replied, "A lot of hard work."

Hartman, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Glen Burnie, also was surprised with parties at meetings of its Senior Club and Women's Sodality, with which she is associated (she is a 50-year charter member).

"At the Holy Trinity Church's 80th anniversary on Nov. 13, my mother was honored and she was recognized as the church's oldest member," Parenti noted.

Presently, Hartman is a member of St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church in Linthicum. She has been a member for 27 years of its Women's Sodality, and belongs to the Catholic Daughters of America -- which also threw her a surprise party.

Parenti said her mother was born and raised in Baltimore's Fells Point. As a young woman, she would occasionally make overnight visits to see an aunt in Ferndale, and take the train back to the city and her seamstress job.

It was on the train that she met her future husband, Albert Frank Hartman. They were married for 47 years before he died in 1972. They raised four children here -- Parenti, Jackie Haislip, Albert A. Hartman and Miriam Westcott.

Hartman lives in the house her husband built 74 years ago. And according to Parenti, she is always doing something to keep herself busy: "She sews, keeps her own house, and does her own grocery shopping and banking, with me providing transportation."

Until a few years ago, she would go on weeklong bus trips, but now takes only day trips.

Hartman was told by her doctor that she has the body of someone half her age and is in excellent health -- except for some arthritis in her knees. He has offered medicine for the arthritis, but Hartman refuses to have any prescribed for her.

"She just comes home and rubs a little Ben-Gay on them," Parenti said.

A day trip for shopping

A bus trip to the Potomac Mills outlet mall in Virginia is timed just right for Christmas shopping. The Ferndale Roadrunners have some seats available on the bus leaving the Ferndale Senior Center, 7205 Baltimore & Annapolis Blvd., at 8: 30 a.m. Dec. 3 and returning at 6: 30 p.m.

On the way home, the bus route will take the shoppers through the Christmas lights display in Watkins Park in Prince George's County.

The cost of the trip is $14. Reservations: 410-761-0484.

Crafts and Santa

Two much-awaited events are taking place at St. Philip Neri, 6401 S. Orchard Road -- the annual Christmas Craft Fair and Santa's Breakfast.

All three floors of St. Philip Neri School will be filled with tables of crafts, decorations, gifts and more for the Christmas fair on Saturday. Shop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for home accessories and presents for those on your list. Food also will be available. Carolyn Bonolis is chairman.

Children and their families are invited to Santa's Breakfast on Dec. 5. Pancakes, sausage, orange juice and coffee will be served.

Children younger than age 2 eat free; the price for other children is $3 and the cost for adults is $6. Reservations are required for the 10: 30 a.m. and noon seatings.

Children may visit with Santa, write him a letter, and have their picture taken with him for $2. There will be gifts for the children, poinsettias will be sold, and there will be a raffle of a huge basket filled with Pokemon items.

Raffle tickets and breakfast reservations will be available in the north lobby of the church after Masses today, and next Saturday and Sunday. Reservations can also be made at the school office. Information: 410-859-1212.

Second chance at citrus

If you missed placing an order for the first delivery of Florida oranges and grapefruit from the Linthicum Lions Club, there's time to order for the next delivery.

Navel oranges are $18 a case and $10 a half case. Ruby red grapefruit are $16 a case, $9 a half. Place and pay for your order by 4 p.m. on Dec. 7, with pickup 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Linthicum Elementary School parking lot.

Profits benefit the Lions Club's charitable projects.

To order, call Marlene Stivers at 410-672-6032 or Peggy Samuels at 410-787-0466.

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