“Love Nonnie”

On her 102nd birthday, Louise Bonito captivated the world.

In a video that racked up hundreds of millions of views, she blew out the candles on her cake. Her dentures flew out — and she laughed uproariously.

Westport claims “Nonnie” as her own. Her daughter is our longtime neighbor Camille Addario. Her granddaughters — Lynsey, Lisa, Leslie and Lauren Addario — graduated from Staples High. All are notable, accomplished, independent, fierce, great women.

In April, the “girls” organized a drive-by parade in North Haven for Louise’s 107th (!) birthday. The woman who lived through the Spanish flu wasn’t about to let the current pandemic slow her down.

Louise Bonito (Photo/Lynsey Addario)

But that was just the start. Now — thanks to a video created by Lisa Addario — “Nonnie” has once again captured the planet’s attention.

In just 18 minutes — that’s less than 2 minutes for every decade she’s lived — this remarkable woman offers one of the most inspiring videos you’ve seen since, well, mid-March.

“Don’t hold grudges,” she says. “Always look on the bright side of life.” She’s gotten angry, of course — but then she asks herself, “What did I get mad for?”

She had plenty of reasons. Nonnie’s husband forced her to have 3 back-alley abortions — and left her when she was pregnant with their 5th child. She supported her family as a seamstress.

Now she’s blessed with her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They have a big Italian dinner every Sunday. It’s a lively, loving scene (just watch Nonnie dig into the meatballs).

“They always thank me,” she says. “That’s worth more than a million dollars.”

Louise “Nonnie” Bonito, surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

At 107 years young, she still does much of the cooking. She also shops, makes her own bed, and goes to the casino. “What’s wrong with that?” she asks. Recently, Nonnie won $250.

“I don’t like to sit around,” she says, in one of the video’s true understatements.

She says other things too, that you seldom hear from a 107-year-old woman. (Granted, you don’t often hear from a 107-year-old, period.)

When her granddaughter asks if she had sex before marriage, she says, “No! We didn’t do that!”

But then she adds, “To each his own.”

Nonnie says she “welcomes everyone.” It’s clear why: Her mother took what little food the family had, and gave it to others.

It’s quite a video. In just a few days, it’s already been viewed more than 200,000 times.

Or 2,000 times, for each of this wonderful woman’s 107 remarkable years.

(Hat tip: Hedi Lieberman)

 

16 responses to ““Love Nonnie”

  1. Loretta Santella Hallock

    What a wonderful story. Loved it.

  2. The Addario family is such a warm and loving group of people and this beautiful video demonstrates that.

  3. Kathryn Sirico

    A very special woman to be admired in every way. Don’t make them like that anymore!!

  4. Camille Addario

    Dan Thank you again your your wonderful acknowledgment of my MOM
    She is a remarkable woman and we are so blessed and so lucky to have
    her in our lives. SHE truly is our hero and loved and respected world wide
    Nonnie Love by Lisa Addario

  5. Susan Woog Wagner

    Wonderful story. I loved the video and also the beautiful portrait of Nonnie by Lynsey. What an inspiration! 107 years young.

  6. Fabulous woman! A real force of nature. Wish I had my own Nonnie. Thank you for posting this wonderful, loving, much needed happy piece in a time of so much chaos, Dan. You and Nonnie have made my day! ❀️

  7. She is a National Treasure! Wish more people said it like Nonnie! What a an amazingly courageous woman and should be an inspiration for everyone…especially during times like this.

  8. Truly a wonderful warm story. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wendy Crowther

    I’m moved beyond words by this story. It brought both tears and laughter. Thank you for sharing Nonnie with us. And thank you, Hedi, for being the tipster.

  10. Love love love your Nonnie! She is a blessing in every way!

  11. ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL LIFT TO THE DAY! CHEERS FOR NONNIE AND HER FAMILY.

  12. Tom Nistico Sr

    God Bless her and her Family πŸŽ‚πŸ™

  13. Such a Wonderful Family….
    Happy Birthday Louise πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚πŸŽ‚!!!!

  14. Charles Wiseman

    to 06880:

    These storm tossed days of our beloved country bring to mind Longfellow’s poem, written back in the storm tossed days of the then-oncoming Civil War

    Roosevelt sent the beginnings of this poem to Churchill in the year we got in to the war. Churchill was heartened by it. That was when we were “loaning” some 99 lend-lease older destroyers to England to help guard the convoys from the German subs that dominated the Atlantic

    The note with the poem that Roosevelt sent to Churchill was delivered by hand by Wendell Wilkie, *FDR’s **opponent in the election* — a good hearted, gentle man

    I trust this poem will touch you as it does me

    charlie wiseman

  15. Annette Norton

    I am still smiling! Beautiful!

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