“I cha-cha’d all the way,” says Alexander (Al) Pierro with a big hearty laugh as he celebrates his 107 birthday at Arbor Rose.
His was a busy life of service, family and dancing before moving in as one of the residence’s first occupants 12 years ago. Born and raised in Bristol alongside seven brothers and sisters, Al attended Bristol Central High School and graduated as class valedictorian. During World War II, he was stationed in Little Rock and Italy in the Army Air Corps as a loadmaster. He was responsible for positioning every piece of equipment loaded on the planes, work similar to a game of Tetris.
Married to his beloved, Jenny Pierro, for 76 years, Al has two children, Tom and Barbara. He was a salesman but becoming a freelance dance instructor in retirement proved much more fun. A random day at Hollywood Beach, Florida, evolved into dance classes he and his late wife hosted on the boardwalk from January to March each year.
After moving into Arbor Rose, Al continued teaching, introducing other residents to the cha-cha. A lot has changed since his first days at Arbor Rose. Not only have memories been made and new dance moves discovered, but a new building was added with 20 more apartments and an expanded wellness pavilion.
“Al still has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. Not bad for a guy turning 107,” says Tom Pierro of his dad, who enjoys square, ballroom and line dancing in addition to the cha-cha.