For Marian Pysh, walking was the way to avoid being subjected to Sunday sports against her will. Little did she know that her hobby would bring her to a milestone that few people get to celebrate — her 103rd birthday on Jan. 3.
Pysh has been a resident of Clarks Summit Senior Living for the past 12 years. Before that, she resided in Dickson City and in Scranton’s Green Ridge section with her husband, Harry.
As she explained, Sunday afternoons in their home were filled with the sounds of Harry cheering on his favorite teams while she laced up her sneakers to get away from the bedlam.
“My husband would watch baseball and football games on the television,” she recalled. “I’d put on my coat and walk right down to Scranton and come back. He bought me a set for the other room, but I couldn’t stand two televisions going at the same time. He’d take his supper with him and watch the television.”
“He didn’t even know I was gone,” she added with a grin. “I’d walk right downtown to Wyoming Avenue. It was nice.”
Besides walking, there is one other thing she credits her longevity to.
“I never smoked,” she said. “I tried once, but all of my friends who smoked are gone now, including the ones who tried to start me on it.”
Pysh has a son, three grandchildren and a great-grandson. She spent considerable time working as a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Center in the Green Ridge section of Scranton.
Pysh explained that life more than 100 years after her birth is quite different from the world she grew up in.
“We had coal stoves, outhouses and that’s what it was,” she said. “There was no indoor plumbing, but people lived.”
“When I was little, we didn’t even lock our doors,” she continued. “It was a good way to live. We had our neighbors and we had each other. We walked to school rain or shine. They were the good times.”