It really was the celebration of the century.
Best friends for 91 years, Joseph Katz and Al Spiegal, celebrated their 100th birthdays together in Lauderhill, Fla., on Saturday.
“We’ve been friends since we were 10-years-old. We both went to the same elementary school and we graduated from that same elementary school. We worked together for the same company and we kept our friendship together,” Katz told ABC News.
The two whipper-snappers, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., celebrated by having a joint party at Inverrary Diner near their homes in Florida. Spiegal’s actual birthday was Aug. 26, but he waited to blow out the candles until his best bud’s big day on Sept. 29.
“Everything was just wonderful. There was about 30 people involved with the party. Everybody was occupied with good conversation. Nobody could replace what I went through. It was just wonderful. Even the weather was wonderful. Even if I planned it, it couldn’t have been better,” Katz said.
His granddaughter, Melissa Teger, 42, made the trip all the way from Paramus, N.J., with her baby boy in tow to celebrate Katz’s centennial.
“We could not wait. We’ve been dying for this, even before my son was born my grandfather told us he couldn’t wait until 2012. I’d say, ‘Why Grandpa?’ And he’d say, ‘Because I’m going to be 100.’ That was the driving force to keep him healthy and happy the last couple of years,” Teger said.
But despite the birthday celebration honoring the two older gentlemen, apparently the much younger man in attendance, Teger’s son, stole the show.
“My granddaughter came down with her nine-month-old baby, a delicious little boy. He was very happy. They were making a big fuss over him. They paid more attention to him than me,” Katz joked.
Even in his old age, Katz has had no complaints about his life so far.
”I live alone and I take care of myself. It helps me along the way. My children want me to live with them, but the best place for me is where I am right now,” Katz explained. “I’ve got my doctors and everything I need. I’ve been living here 38 years. So far, no complaints.”
As the birthday was getting closer, Katz’s three sons, daughter and 10 grandchildren decided it would be best for them to travel to Florida for the party, rather than bring both men back to New York.
“He was so excited. He was dressed and ready first thing in the morning, ready to go celebrate with everyone,” Teger said. “He’s the rock and the pillar of the family, keeps us all in line and connected. We all care so much about him. Not too many people could say they have a grandparent that lives to be 100. He’s still so sharp and into politics. He’s an amazing individual.”
Katz had a few simple words of wisdom for anyone else looking to live to 100-years-old.
“You don’t reach 100 just like this. With your body, you’ve got to use it, not abuse it. Live the right kind of life. Take care of yourself,” Katz said. “Eat the right kind of food. Don’t smoke. Don’t touch alcohol. Go ride a bike. Go ballroom dancing. Keep occupied and you’ll make it.”
He jokingly threw in one more before he was finished, “Just keep breathing, that’s the secret to my longevity.”
At the end of the end of the conversation Katz offered a nice sendoff, which was quite fitting to the moral of this story: “Have a happy life.”