Sam Cascio, Nonagenarian Bellhop, Refuses to Bag It
updated 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Born in Italy and raised in Louisiana, Cascio worked as a laborer for pennies a day before going to work at the hotel—the 3,000-room Stevens, then the largest in the world—two days before it opened in May 1927. Six decades of toting bags for the rich and powerful—six presidents and countless entertainers have passed through—have left Cascio unawed by celebrity. "I'm pretty well-known by a lot of people myself," he says.
Younger bellmen, like Louis Alvaro, 72, have trouble keeping up with Sam, who seems to be always in motion, lugging bags, fixing broken luggage, tending to the needs of guests. A widowed father of three, grandfather of 13 and great-grandfather of 18, Cascio says that the secrets of his longevity are beer and whiskey. He drinks four shots of the latter daily, two at breakfast, two at night. He also hoists 48 beers every day—one 24-can case in each hand, to strengthen his arms. "I'm trying to catch up with Sammy," says Alvaro, "but I'll never do it because he'll never quit."