Bill Kaliser, a Paul’s Run resident who celebrated his 99th birthday in November, stays active by making “Have a Nice Day” signs out of cereal boxes and magazine clippings. “It just came to me. I don’t really know where I got the idea,” Bill said. “I was watching TV, and I had a cereal box and a magazine and I thought maybe I could make something.”
Bill photocopies paper that says “Have a Nice Day,” glues it to cereal boxes that he has cut out, then cuts pictures of children, animals, toys and more from magazines to glue on the sign. “I especially like the pictures of kids, they’re so cute. I get such a kick out of it,” he said. “You hang it on your wall and every time you look at it you smile.”
When Bill’s wife passed away two years ago, he was having a difficult time. When he began to make his signs about a year later, it helped him. “Doing the signs has taken my mind off of the things that I used to do with my wife, and it keeps my mind active,” he said. “When I’m sitting around watching the ball game or something I’ll just make a few.”
Bill sells his signs for a dollar each, and donates the money to the Friends of Paul’s Run, which helps to support the Paul’s Run Fellowship Fund. “Everyone at Paul’s Run saves cereal boxes and magazines for me, so I like to give back,” he said. “And it’s a good cause.” The Fellowship Fund allows residents who have depleted their assets to continue to Live Life to the Fullest at Paul’s Run.
Growing up in South Philadelphia, Bill and his five brothers worked in his father’s cap store. “We had a sewing machine and we made the caps right there,” he said.
Bill served in the Air Force during World War II as an airplane electrician. “I did a lot of different things in the Air Force. The Sergeant always asked me to fix things, and I was always able to,” he said. After the war, Bill worked as an electrician using the skills that he had learned.
Bill wears a red hat that says Handy Man of America. “I’ve always been handy,” he said. “I’ve always been good at making and fixing things. These signs are no different.”