SAN MARCOS, Calif. — When you break a score of 100 in bowling, you've had a good game. Live to be 100-years-old, you've had a good life.
At Bowlero San Marcos, if you're looking for a 100-year-old bowling babe, look no further than Marge Ritacco. Usually when people get older, they hide their age, but not Marge.
"It's my birthday. I am 100 today! I was born in 1919," Marge told Jeff Zevely in Wednesday's Zevely Zone.
Marge was at Bowlero San Marcos to celebrate a century of living at the lanes.
"That's a lot of candles," said a friend helping to light the candles on two cakes.
Five years ago when Marge relocated from New Jersey to San Marcos, she knew she'd find friends playing her favorite sport. Now, she's an inspiration to bowlers in their seventies.
"If I can be like you when I am 100, I will be absolutely elated," said a bowler giving a toast on the loud speaker.
When you bowl well at 100-years-old, you capture the attention of league officials.
"Is it possible she is on a performance enhancing drug?" asked Zevely.
"No! If she is, I want some of that," responded Adella Myers from the North County United States Bowling Congress.
There's another rumor Marge may be lying about her age.
"She said this morning that she is only 39," cracked a friend.
"Now that I believe," said Zevely who was on his way to dig deeper into the scandal.
Maybe family members such as Tara and Tom Ritacco could vouch for her?
"She's one hundred. It's amazing," Tara said with tears in her eyes.
"We call her the Energizer Bunny," said her son Tom.
His mother is a driven woman still looking to improve her game.
"I wish I was doing better, that's what I wish. I think I should go get some lessons," said Marge.
"Happy Birthday to you," sings the crowd.
Marge really isn't sure what all the hoopla is about and to prove it she's blowing out the candles before the song even ends. She's got a game to finish. Marge has three sons; eight grandchildren; and seven great- grandchildren.
She grew up with seven siblings and attributes her longevity to her mother's cooking and a Mediterranean diet. They ate fresh vegetables from their garden and eggs from the chickens they raised. They all had to help with cooking and the chores.
Marge says her secret to a long life? Grow a garden, eat fresh vegetables and bowl.