REDDING, Calif. — It has been said that age is but a number. This week, Margery Ada McAleer, a 94-year-old author at Shasta Estates in Redding is proving it to be true.
On Saturday, McAleer held a book signing at the Shasta Estates Senior Living Community to release her fourth and fifth books to the public.
McAleer says her newest two books focus on growing up at San Quentin Prison and her nearly one hundred year life.
"I always felt that I was living a magical life, because I had prisoners making sandwiches for me and teaching me how to play tennis," McAleer said.
Born in the Roaring Twenties and raised at San Quentin Prison with a prison guard father and inmates for friends, McAleer has seen a lot in her 94 years.
"Those prisoners, they had never experienced such humanitarianism as when my father walked through those gates," McAleer said.
In fact, McAleer says she lived at San Quentin Prison from the time she was two years old to the day she got married.
She says during that time her father fought to bring baseball and boxing to the prison system as a way to defuse tensions among inmates.
"It took him 10 years but he got it through. He went back east and helped the Sing Sing warden start sports in prison back there. So, it finally came throughout the United States that prisoners were allowed to have sports," McAleer said.
McAleer is now an accomplished author, working on her 6th book, but she says for her it is all about sharing her memories of the past.
"I've had a wonderful life. It was a magical life, and I had 5,000 uncles. I had to write about it."
McAleer says the environment she grew up in, could not happen in today's prison system, but to her it was home.
McAleer's books are available through Barns & Noble.
Here is a current list of McAleer's titles: