BUFFALO, NY-- A birthday is a milestone to celebrate every year. But as the years pile up, the significance of the celebration undoubtedly grows.

Sally Szemnciak has collected a number of years. 105 to be exact.

"When was I born? 1912? That must have been the first...Revolutionary War," Szemnciak joked.

The 105 year old is healthy, happy, with it and witty, too. And that's not just the cocktail talking.

"A flirtini," Szemnciak responds when asked the name of the drink she enjoyed with her birthday dinner. "I don't know what they're called but it's got a lot of booze. I had it all mixed together."

Five generations of family gathered around the table Wednesday for a happy hour to celebrate her 105th birthday.


Born April 5, 1912, the woman has seen it all and as you can imagine has just a few stories to share.

"What I first remember, we had the horse and buggy," Szemnciak recalled. "Then we got the cars. Then we got the buses. Then trains."

Szemnciak worked for Erie County and the Town of Cheektowaga in the tax office. She was the court stenographer in Sloan, New York where she lived for more than 90 years. She was the oldest parishioner of the St. Andrew's Church there, too.

"She always was a hard working woman," Deanna Machtel, her daughter, said. "She always taught us to never think we're old. Never over-indulge in anything. Everything in moderation."

In addition to a working life, Szemenciak has also been around for the birth of her five children, eight grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and seven great great grandchildren.

A full life of work and family. But is there one secret this woman swears by that has kept her going this long?

"She takes one pill a day...one very mild blood pressure pill. And a multiple vitamin," her daughter said. "And her high ball..."

Szemenciak enjoys one whiskey every night, according to daughter Deanna, while she watches late night talk shows.

When asked if that makes it difficult to get out of the bed the next morning, Szemenciak said not really.

"Oh no. I'm not real anxious to get up in the morning. Now that I'm 105, I get up when I feel like it."

Maybe it's the DNA. Maybe it's the full life to live for. Or maybe it's the strong will and a shot that's kept this woman going for 105 years.