Commentary: Julia Reardon turns 100, and she still likes to dance

Milford resident Julia Reardon celebrated her 100th birthday Sept. 25, and she had some words of wisdom to pass along during a recent interview.

Remember to dance.

Julia couldn’t really speculate on what leads to longevity — though she noted that her mother lived to be 96 years old — but she said her favorite thing to do has always been dancing.

The Milford woman, born in 1914, said she moved to Milford from Yonkers as World War II was getting underway. Her husband, Harry, was a bill poster for the Griese Advertising Company, and the war drew Harry and other family members to this area for work.

Julia said she picked out the family home on Mayflower Court and she never wanted to leave. She still lives there today. She raised two sons in Milford, and has five grandchildren. These days she spends her days watching television and going several days a week to the Milford Senior Center, plus doing things with her health aid and family members. Her mind is still active, though she does keep notes and small news articles on a table next to her livingroom chair to remind her of important names and dates.

Julia said she loved Milford when she first moved here and never wanted to leave. She recalls spending time at the beach in the days when there were rides and amusements there. She remembers riding the roller coaster and swimming at Silver Sands Beach when the area was a popular tourist attraction for out-of-towners.

But mostly what she remembers is dancing.

“When Harry was alive we went every place,” she said. “We liked to dance, wherever we found someplace to dance.”

She said they danced at the Emerald Room, which was located on Milford’s shoreline many years ago, but mostly they had to venture outside of Milford with two other couples who also enjoyed kicking up their heels.

Julia was a good dancer, but Harry was better, she said. Those were the years when clubs and halls sported couples doing the fox trot, jitterbug, Lindy hop and swing dance.

After Harry died about 25 years ago, Julia spent her spare time with friends, sometimes going to weekend tag sales or hitting the local eateries to enjoy lunch. She said she always took life as it came, and as long as she was with good people, she was happy.

Julia may be 100 years old, but she hasn’t stopped dancing.

The Milford woman celebrated her birthday at the Milford Senior Center, and she got up and danced  “with a fellow in the orchestra,” she said.

“I didn’t really move my feet that much,” she said. “Not as much as when I was younger. But I did have fun.”

The Milford Mirror says “happy birthday” to Julia and thanks her for reminding us to make time to dance now and then.