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.
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.”
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)