Roy Spotti may have recently turned 103 years old, but the bunco-playing, dance-loving gentleman said his mind and body still scream, “I’m just getting started.”
The Hesperia resident, who recently had his driver’s license renewed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, celebrated his birthday on July 18 and celebrated the special moment a few times over the last week.
“I don’t know long I can keep celebrating birthdays,” Spotti told the Hesperia Star during a birthday/bunco party on July 20 at the Hesperia Leisure League. “I’ll stick around as long as there’s bunco to play and ladies to dance with.”
Mayor Pro Tem Russ Blewett and Shannon Dunkle, a representative for Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, were on hand to present Spotti with commendations and well wishes.
“Roy looks pretty good for 103 years old,” Blewett said. “I hope I look that good when I turn his age.”
Several Leisure League members lined up to hug and kiss Spotti and to present him with cards and gifts, including a puzzle that was created from a group photo taken at the league.
Spotti took less than two seconds to blow out multiple birthday candles as his friends applauded and snapped photos.
An Illinois native, Spotti said he moved to California after high school and took a job with the Southern Pacific Railroad. During that time, he assisted with many Hollywood productions and rubbed shoulders with several celebrities.
Spotti said during his “Hollywood days,” he met actors such as Dean Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Victor Borge and a “very heavy Judy Garland” who had to be snuck onto the set because “she was so big that she didn’t want anyone to see her.”
After working several jobs, including a management position at Pacific Ocean Park in Santa Monica, Spotti retired at age 65 and moved to Hesperia when the population topped out at 5,000 people.
Despite the party balloons, decorations and attention, Spotti said he was anxious to “break out the dice” and play bunco with his friends.
“I really appreciate all of you, but I really don’t deserve this,” Spotti told the group. “I just know that I’m a very lucky man.”
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.