East Torresdale man celebrates 100 in style

Andrew Potts will soon be 100 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from dancing.

Family members and friends at the Associated Polish Home, 9150 Academy Road, clap for Andrew Potts, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday on New Year’s Day. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Andrew Potts is dancing his way to 100.

The East Torresdale resident, decked out in a baby blue suit, showed up Wednesday night at the Associated Polish Home to jitterbug, as he does almost every week.

Potts will celebrate his 100th birthday on New Year’s Day, but you wouldn’t know it the way he moves around the dance floor with a full head of wavy hair.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 15 years old,” Potts said. “It was good exercise for you.”

The secret to making it to 100? Taking care of yourself and being active, Potts said. According to his son Michael, one of Potts’ favorite sayings is: “Don’t sit in a rocker or you’ll never get up.”

Potts, who lives independently at the Delaire Landing Apartments, grew up in Port Richmond and left school to work at the Navy Yard.

“I was working in the Navy Yard when the war broke out,” Potts said.

His family said Potts enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during World War II, taking part in the invasion of Normandy. It was a “tough landing” that day, Potts said.

Potts also boxed at the Cambria Athletic Club in Kensington, according to his son Michael. The place was a “blood pit,” Potts said.

Potts spent three decades working for the Philadelphia Housing Authority and has been retired for 35 years. His wife died about 12 years ago, and he has three children, six grandchildren and about a dozen great-grandchildren.

Andrew Potts dances with Peg Rybas Wednesday, Dec. 19, at the Associated Polish Home. JACK TOMCZUK / TIMES PHOTO

Many of the regulars at the Associated Polish Home dances are in their 90s. The social club at 9150 Academy Road hosts dances just about every Wednesday.

“We’re like an extended family,” said Patricia Potter, who helps run the event. “Everybody loves everybody.”

For more information on the dances, visit www.polishhome.com or call 215-624-9954. ••