Helen Guzzone and Anna Del Priore share more than a set of parents and four siblings — they share the same birthday of Sept. 5. Helen celebrated 100 years young and Anna celebrated 103 years young. Who would have thunk it?
Helen’s son Nick Guzzone hosted the party at Chadwick’s Restaurant in Bay Ridge, where grandchildren Nicole Swenson, David Guzzone, Darlene Jasmine, Michael Maccaro, and Todd LaLima, along with great grandchildren and a host of friends gathered to honor the sisterly centenarians. The celebrating siblings, born and bred in Brooklyn, have not seen each other in quite some time, so Nick thought it would be really great for them to share this birthday together.
“I didn’t make it a surprise,” said Nick. “I didn’t want to give them too much of a shock. Because of where they live, my mom, Helen in Ozanam Hall in Queens, and Aunt Anna, near granddaughter Darlene in New Jersey, they have not seen each other for a long time, so it was really special for them to be together again and celebrate their birthdays.”
Helen has two sons Nick and Paul, and Anna has four children Pablo, Maria, Ruth and Craig.
When Standing O asked Nick why his mom and aunt were so long-lived, he said, “Neither my aunt nor mom ever drank and my aunt stayed away from dairy products. My mom exercised every day and did leg raises well into her 80s.” Nick said. “When mom was on vacation in Rome, way back in the 70s, she happened to meet the sitting pope’s doctor,” he explained. “This doctor was an advocate for exercise and told my mother the importance of doing leg raises. She was a firm believer ever since,” Nick said.
He added: “my mom still walks on her own and even though she has a walker, she rarely uses it. She sort of walks the walker,” he joked.
Standing O wishes Helen and Anna a very happy birthday and offers an Italian toast, C’ent anni.