Enjoying Life: Independent Living

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elder man in a independent living communityVoted “Best Dancer” and “Most Popular” from Central High School Class of ’32, Sigmund (“Siggy”) Rosenberg still has a twinkle in his eye. This is a man who knows how to enjoy life.

While sitting in the private dining room at Dresher Estates, with daughter Sharon by his side, we listen to his stories of boating down the Schuykill, camping, ice skating, and driving his ’29 Ford Roadster, complete with rumble seat and 19 cent a gallon gasoline. Siggy makes his world come alive. He speaks lovingly of his wife Elaine. They first met when she was 14 years old. “She was too young,” he says. Five years later, Siggy and Elaine remet and eloped shortly thereafter.

In those five years, Siggy attended and graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. He dreamed of buying his own pharmacy, and Elaine’s father lent them $2,500.00 to buy a store in West Oak Lane. Together, Siggy and Elaine built a business that provided a handsome living for the Rosenberg family.

As Siggy and his daughter reminisce, he shares the secret of his 49-year marriage. A weekly date. Wednesday was dinner and movie night for the couple and every Sunday was family day. Sharon spoke of memories of the pharmacy: watching her dad fill prescriptions, dispense advice, and mentor the teenage boys who worked at the soda fountain. She is still in touch with some of those boys, now grown men, who remember with fondness, Siggy’s customer service training. “The customer is always right.”

Siggy has made a new home at Dresher Estates. Ellen Newman, Executive Director of the community, speaks warmly of Siggy and the other residents, families, and employees. “In the four years we have been open, we have become a family,” she says.

Siggy has made new friends with his peers and with the staff. He has continued to participate in activities he was involved in before moving and has found his artistic side designing and making jewelry. He also plays poker a few times a week with the guys. Siggy’s stories about fishing at the Jersey shore charm his new friends.

As we end our conversation, Siggy smiles and his eyes light up. When we grow up, we all want to be Siggy!

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