Owner of iconic Brookline, Mass. toy store turns 99

Published On: Aug 26 2013 07:35:58 AM HST

Ethel Weiss has owned and still single-handedly runs an iconic Brookline toy store for 74 years.

Weiss turned 99 on Friday. Her shop, Irving's Toy and Card Shop, is an institution on Harvard Street.

She says she's never thought of selling -- and definitely not retiring. You can still buy Gumby, Slinkies and Duncan yo-yos at reasonable prices after careful shopping all the treasures hidden in nooks and crannies.

Weiss stocks her own shelves. She shuts down in the middle of the day if she needs a nap, but that doesn't happen often. Weiss has survived husbands and boyfriends.

"You've got to invite them for dinners, cook in the house and don't spend too much money," Weiss said.

To folks thinking about going into the business world, Weiss had some advice,

"Don't think you're going to hire everybody that's going to do just what you want. You've got to be involved," she said.

One of her daughters stops by daily to get her marching orders.

"It is pretty incredible, and I think the most important thing is that the reason she's still here is because she still enjoys it. And it's keeping her alive and active," Anita Jamieson said.

Weiss said she'll be here next year for the big birthday, as she says, "God willing."  


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