YONKERS, N.Y. -- For the past 50 years Danny Dentaroli and his business County Cycle has been a fixture on McLean Avenue in Yonkers.
A second-generation bicycle shop owner, the 81-year-old Dentaroli is one of the those people who loves to know what's happening in the neighborhood along with how people are doing, how their families are doing and even how their grandchildren are doing.
He's one of the rare fixtures that become the fabric of life of a town. One of the those people who knows everyone and knows how to get things done.
He claims he really hasn't worked a day in his life because he loves his business so much.
"If you love what you do, then you don't really work," he says with a laugh. "It's the secret to life."
That and his employees and the people in the neighborhood. And even though his six dear friends that visited the shop each day for almost as long as he's been in business and sat in a chair along the front window to talk are gone, their chairs remain.
"I have little plaques with their names on them," he said. "I couldn't move the chairs."
A lot was discussed in those chairs. Neighborhood gossip, politics, war, the economy, love lives, you name and it was talked about.
Dentaroli is still talking today, but he's also thinking about how lucky he has been in his life. Currently, he owns the only bike shop in Yonkers. When he started there were seven.
Just recently, the Yonkers Police Department threw a large 50th anniversary party of the man who has fixed bicycles for the department to give away to needy children. He donates all the parts and labor and then gives them back to be used in Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano's Bike Donation Program.
"I knew they had a lot of bikes sitting around turning to junk so I suggested years ago that they should let me fix them up and then they could give them away," Dentaroli said. "A bike is a bike to a kid in need. It doesn't matter if it is new."
He said he still can't believe the number of people who came to the party, especially most of his former employees including Chris Colon, who became a police officer.
"We would like to thank Danny's for his efforts in making repairs to donated bicycles under Mayor Mike Spano's Bike Donation Program," said Yonkers Detective Lt. Patrick McCormack. "These donated bikes have brought great joy to many of our youth here in Yonkers and Danny has been a big part of this program. He is a fixture in our community and he should be recognized for his efforts over the years."
But just because he has celebrated 50 years in business doesn't mean he wants to retire anytime soon. Last year he signed a new 10-year lease and he has nine years to go which will make him 90-years-old when his lease runs out.
"I have no plans of retiring, I'm not going to Florida, or slowing down," he laughs. "That's when it's all over."