While our nation celebrated its birthday July 4, a very special lady in Riverside celebrated her 100th birthday. Silvia Michl had her “party” with friends at the New Seneca Restaurant in Berwyn, her favorite eatery, one she would frequent for breakfast, driving herself there, up until a few years ago.

It was hard to get in touch with Silvia this weekend what with her “partying” and receiving out- of-town friends. We did get in touch with Beverly Rothholtz, whose mother and Silvia were longtime friends. As Rothholtz related, “Aunt Silvia” has always been quiet about her personal life, but she was the third child in a family of six girls and one boy. She grew up in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Of the seven siblings, Michl, a sister and her brother remain. She was employed by the Illinois Bell phone company for 42 years and was considered to be a good worker.

According to Rothholtz, Michl has a “show biz” streak in her. She took tap dancing lessons and, until a few years ago, was into line dancing and was known to play the organ early in the morning.

When we were finally able to reach Michl on Monday afternoon, she told me she came to Riverside in the 1980s and soon afterward received a call from the Riverside Junior Woman’s Club to attend a meeting.

Attend she did, even though she thought she was past the “junior” stage. But she joined and became one of the organization’s most valuable members, twice (in succession) she was named Junior of the Year. She is still active with the organization.

Michl does admit to enjoying card games with bridge and pinochle being high on her list. I asked what is her secret of staying young (hoping to get in on something good), and she replied, “I enjoy the everyday activities and taking care of my home, which is big, and I like taking care of it.” Not quite the answer I had hoped for, but a good one at that. Every week, she and Jeanne Heidler, another longtime Juniors member, go to the grocery store and visit.

So Silvia how was your 100th birthday?

“It was fantastic and beautiful people attended.”

What more could anyone ask? Before hanging up I told Silvia I would like to visit with her and would call her soon and she said, “I’ll talk to you in about a week.” OK by me, Silvia, stay forever young – and happy birthday!