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My Day

Four very busy alter kakers share their typical routines.

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Jimmy Prince, 81, Marine Park, Brooklyn
Prince owned Major’s, a butcher shop on Mermaid Avenue, for 60 years. Now he mentors the staff at a butcher shop in Sheepshead Bay.

7 a.m. I am always up by seven. I have my coffee and a slice of toast.

10 a.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays, my wife will generally drop me off at G&S Salumeria and Pork Store, in Sheepshead Bay.

11 a.m. I volunteer at the butcher shop. The artwork of butchering is long gone. The generation that’s growing up now needs an education—I’ll show them the best way to take a neck and shoulder apart. A lot of women today are not kitchen-oriented, so to speak, so I’ll teach the boys the cooking time for the meat and how to freezer-wrap their leftovers into two or three meals rather than putting it all in one package.

5 p.m. My wife will pick me up. At home I’ve learned to do a lot of housework. I learned how to do the laundry and how to handle cleaning. I’ll make the supper, because she made supper for me when I was at the store.

7 p.m. We try to talk to our children. You have to look at the clock and say, “What time is it there?” to know if it’s okay to call. I like to read; mostly histories and stories about baseball and stamp magazines.

9 p.m. By the time eight or nine rolls around, we’re ready to sleep. I can’t keep my eyes open.



Herbert Oppenheimer, 90, Upper West Side
The Yonkers-born architect apprenticed under Philip Johnson. He’s working on a few final projects while closing up his architecture practice.

8 a.m. I’m a big breakfast cook for myself, and had been for my wife before she passed away. I make scrambled eggs, pancakes, waffles, and sausages.

Noon I try to get to the office every day for a couple hours. I have a bit contract with the School Construction Authority that’s winding down. Six years ago, I also embarked upon trying to build a little house for my wife and myself on this land we bought in the Catskills. It’s 98 percent done.

3 p.m. Two days a week, I go to the Art Students League. I’m carving wood there for three to four hours. I carved wood when I came out of the Army in 1946. I’m making a little wooden sculpture of my two cats.

6 p.m. I’m on a committee affiliated with the Center for Architecture at La Guardia Place, which is specifically concerned with senior citizens.

8 p.m. I’ve been a member of the Century club for 30 years. I sing in the chorus there. We are the Century Singers, and we always perform at Christmas and other shows.

10 p.m. My wife and I used to go to the movies a lot, and to the ballet. But I haven’t gone much since she died. I intend to start rattling around again soon.


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