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A loyal, lifelong reader

She uses a magnifying glass nowadays. That is one concession to age.


But at 102, Anna Maslowski has no intention of giving up her cherished daily habit of reading the newspaper.


She has The Times Leader delivered to her residence at North Penn Manor, a personal-care home in Wilkes-Barre, where activity director Doreen Rakowski suggests Maslowski’s 80 years as a subscriber could be a record.


Maslowski, who celebrated her 102nd birthday on Wednesday, said she likes to read all the headlines but often starts with the obituaries.


“I see who’s left,” she said. “All of my friends are gone.”


She checks out the national and international news, and of course the local happenings.


“Too bad about him,” she said, scanning a recent story about a ruling that former State Sen. Raphael Musto is incompetent to stand trial.


A photo of Pope Francis carrying a lamb was a little too small for her to see clearly.


“What’s he doing?” she asked.


“He visited a Nativity scene, and he has a lamb around his neck,” a bystander told her.


Does she read sports?


“Yes, my grandchildren went to Penn State and Wyoming Valley West,” she said. “I like to see if they had a ball game.”


“I like to see what happened in my town,” she added, explaining she grew up in Plymouth


Glancing at a large photograph of a pasta dish on a features page, she said, “We had pierogies for lunch today. I like pierogies.”


Maslowski, who worked for the former Heavenly Shoe Co. and Atwater Throwing Co., shared 55 years of marriage with the late Anthony Maslowski, who worked as a motorman in the mining industry and as an electrician.


She has three children, Rosaline O’Boyle, Theresa Piazza and Anthony Maslowski, as well as seven children and eight great-grandchildren.


The third-oldest of 10 children, she lost her father in a mining accident when she was 11. Her mother supported the family by working as a housekeeper in a boarding house.


Anna Maslowski met her future husband at church and found out they had an earlier connection. His mother had been the midwife who delivered Anna as a baby.


Ask her for longevity tips and Maslowski gives credit to breakfasts of oatmeal and dried fruit. She also tries to avoid consuming sugar and salt. “My doctor said sugar is a no-no,” she said.


Another way Maslowski stays young at heart is through her genuine interest in other people, Rakowski, the activities director, pointed out.


“She welcomes everyone with a warm smile that lights up the room,” Rakowski said.


“I sit at her table, and she always has a good conversation,” said fellow resident Florence Hogan, 88.


Maslowski tries to be as independent as possible. She maintained her home in Plymouth until she was almost 100 years old, and even today, she doesn’t want to be helped with any task she can do for herself.


“Every day I’m dressing myself and undressing myself,” she said.


Reading the newspaper also helps with mental stimulation, North Penn administrator Judy Lee said.


“We like to do the Jumble,” Rakowski said, naming a popular puzzle.


When she’s finished reading, Maslowski passes the paper along for others to read.


“I give it to the nurse who’s done the most that day,” she said.