CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - There was quite a celebration at the McDonald’s restaurant near the Walden Galleria on Wednesday morning.
You might even call it a party for the ages.
The celebrants included a group of retirees who have been meeting for coffee every morning (except on Sunday) for the past 22 years.
“It's like a family," explained Victor Scaccia, who he says he joined the group several years ago when, while recovering from surgery, his wife told him he needed to get out of the house and do something.
“We're solving all the problems of the world in here,” joked Scaccia, "We talk about all sorts of things….science, even politics.”
Yet the group has somehow managed to remain friends.
Happy Birthday, Charlie.
Among them, is Charlie Trinca, who was being feted on this day by his friends for turning 100 years old.
“We all kind of blended in together over these years, and I must be honest with you, these are the nicest people,” Trinca told WGRZ-TV.
Trinca, who served with the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, goes to McDonalds every day after church to visit with friends alongside his wife Josephine to whom he has been married for 70 years.
Josephine, 95, does the driving.
"His eyesight was failing, and so he gave up his license because he was afraid he would injure somebody," she explained.
A sign outside the restaurant, beneath its trademark Golden Arches, saluted Charlie on his 100th birthday and the crowd inside erupted in cheers and applause when the couple arrived.
A Century of Wisdom.
Trinca joked that the key to a long and happy marriage can be summed up in two words: “yes dear!” he laughed.
“We have our arguments, as every marriage does,” said Josephine. “But at the end each day, we always make sure to kiss each other goodnight.”
There aren’t too many secrets to leading a long life either, according to Western New York’s newest centenarian, who says a tablespoon of honey in your morning coffee and keeping active are the key.
“I don’t sit around and watch that TV box all the time, no way!” exclaimed Trinca, who still mows his own lawn every week at the home that the couple has shared for 63 years.
A Gift That Keeps On Giving.
"For their age and the way they get around, it's just awesome. We can only hope to be like them at that age," said Don Richardson, who owns the McDonalds franchise that Trinca and his friends have been frequenting on a near daily basis for more than two decades.
Richardson also organized the celebration, had his staff put up decorations, and provided a birthday cake.
Last year, on Trinca’s 99th Birthday, Richardson presented him with a certificate good for a free meal, every day, for one year.
This year, he presented Trinca and his wife with a certificate entitling them to a free meal every day for the rest of their lives.
“The good lord helped me a lot. He blessed me,” said Trinca, who explained that his faith tells him that if you are touched by the hand of God, you can consider yourself lucky.
“But when it came to me, I think he reached down and hugged me. Because I have been a very, very, lucky person."
Blessed as he is...to have to have such good friends.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporters Dave McKinley, Melissa Homes and photojournalist Terry Belke.
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