Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘15 cents for hot dog': SoCal grandma turns 104, looks back on good old days

Betsy Elliott, who was born on Aug. 9, 1919, recalls good old days when things were far cheaper, and life was easier.

“Cigarettes were 15 cents per pack. Hot dog was 15 cents. You can get a bottle of beer for 15 cents. You can have a big time for a buck.”

Elliott celebrated her 104th birthday this week and offered some perspective on more than a century of life events.

It took a while for the Pennsylvania native to get to sunny Southern California. After living in Texas, New Jersey and Florida, Elliott moved to the Southland in the 80s when her daughter became a Californian.

“I love the weather,” Elliott says joyfully. “I love the people. People are open and honest. They’re not in tight little bunches so many of us grew up in.”

Being honest and open is something the 104-year-old can relate to. She would be the first to admit living a long life isn’t always fun.

“My main problem is my eyesight. I haven’t been able to read for two years. I was a big reader. I miss that tremendously.”

But she understands when an average American woman lives to age 77, the 104th birthday is a big milestone. And if anyone wants to live past 100, Elliott recommends eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle.

“I’m not an over-eater. I’m not a sweet eater,” Elliott explains. “Twice a week for 25 years, I did senior aerobics. And I did line-dancing in my 90s until I was 95 years old when I broke a bone in the foot.”

Another tip for peace of mind: don’t take things too seriously.

“Enjoy yourself. Don’t be tied in little knots.”

While Elliott wishes she could have had the opportunity to achieve the dream of becoming a comedian and dancer, she is now happy to be a proud “Nana” to three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

“I never knew this would turn out like this, but I’m very grateful.”

Do you have a Bright Spot like this? Share your Bright Spot with us!  

Today in LA’s Lynette Romero wants to hear from you! You can message her on Facebook and Instagram. You can also email her at We’ll share your story on Today in LA and our website to further spread your bright spot!

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    %d bloggers like this: