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Beeman celebrates a century of life

LAKE PLACID For a century, Alma Beeman has been part of the fabric of the region. On Oct. 22, she celebrated her centennial. Beeman celebrated her birthday on Monday with friends and family at the Neighborhood House in Keene Valley, an assisted living facility she moved into on Jan. 16, 2006. At her birthday party, she was feted with presents, cake and live entertainment by Lonesome Traveler. At 100, Beeman is still sharp witted and humorous, and describes her health as pretty good. She spends much of her time working on her knitting, having practiced the craft for over 90 years. Its her favorite pastime she explained that she likes to focus on her work. Its a great pastime. Im contented to sit here in the chair, by myself, and knit, said Beeman. After making her afghans and mittens, she gives them away. For many years, she donated double-knitted mittens for Christmas baskets assembled at the Lake Placid town hall. I did over 100 afghans, and God knows how many mittens over the years, said Beeman. She was born on Oct. 22, 1907 to Flora LaMoye and John LaMountain. She grew up in Clintonville, until she was 15, when her family relocated to Lake Placid. While living in Clintonville, she attended a one-room schoolhouse, and worked on her family farm. She recalled picking blueberries with her brother, which were then sold for nine cents per quart. Beeman said that she worked her entire life in the Lake Placid region. Work is my middle name, said Beeman. She was employed at the Lake Placid Club for 22 years, in local motels and at the school. She married Loyal Beeman in 1923, when she was 17, and the couple had two children, Jean and Chet. The pair remained married for 69 years, until Loyal passed away. Beeman has two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Beeman said the most difficult time in her life was when her children passed away within two months of each other about four years ago. Theres nothing worse than that. You expect to lose your parents, but to lose your kids... Beeman said the secret to her longevity is daily walks, and enjoying a rye and gin cocktail a day. My secret is I have a cocktail once a day and I walk a lot. When I was a kid, I worked a lot, said Beeman. Beeman walks for about an hour every morning in the parking lot.

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