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After 84 Years, He Still Likes His Job--No Fooling

March 25, 1986|JENNINGS PARROTT

--Monday was just another working day for Alfred Burin, and he spent it at his desk as usual, even though it was his 100th birthday. "Without work, life isn't worth living," said Burin as colleagues and friends gathered in his office in Jersey City, N.J., for cake and a champagne toast. He has put in 84 years with Globe Shipping Co., starting as a clerk at age 16 in Germany, moving with the firm to the United States in 1913. He retired as president a decade ago, but he's still chairman of the board. While he has put aside day-to-day decisions he continues as a broker for the company. Burin grinned broadly through the party but was understated about the milestone. "I'm just an ordinary businessman. I just happen to be 100, which is a little unusual," he said. Friend Aaron Biller looked at Burin and said: "There's still a vigor. There's still a compulsion to work. Look at him--that's not hype." Burin was nonchalant: He keeps working because he likes it. "Besides, I have no hobby," he said. "I tried collecting stamps. That didn't work out. My hobby was work." His recipe for longevity includes an after-work shot of whiskey--"No water, no ice. Straight whiskey"--and what he calls "a straight life. No fooling around . . . you know what I mean."

--The mansion featured on the nighttime television soap opera "Falcon Crest" is for sale. "We're looking for someone who wants to own one of the world's chateau wineries, make fine wines and have a great life style," said Michael Robbins, owner of the 101-year-old mansion and 257 acres in the Napa Valley. Robbins is retiring to the south of France. He said he expects Lorimar Production Co. to keep filming the series starring Jane Wyman and Cesar Romero at the winery location. Besides the six-bedroom mansion, the property includes the winery with extensive inventories and prime vineyards, according to Unique Homes magazine, which features the home on the cover of its April-May issue. Robbins wouldn't disclose the asking price, but the magazine placed it at $20 million. Robbins said life in the Napa Valley is just the opposite of the avaricious life styles shown on "Falcon Crest." "It's a very friendly industry," he said. "Nobody's trying to own the Valley and grind down the competition."

--Where else would frozen potatoes get french-fried by the truckload? A tractor-trailer rig loaded with frozen french fries from Idaho exploded and caught fire near Greasy, Okla., with no injuries, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The french fries had been en route to North Carolina, said Bill Coy, a spokesman for Willis Shaw Trucking in Springdale, Ark. "I don't think we will be using them," Coy said of the spuds, although "they got fried pretty good."

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