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Little-Known Brooklyn Residents: Birthday Dancers Joseph Notarfrancesco and Laura Louise Ottomanelli

Oct 4, 2010 2:41 PM | 0 comments

On October 12, 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that the family of 89 year-old Joseph Notarfrancesco caught him climbing onto his garage roof with the intent of making repairs with a hammer. His family urged him down in a hurry, concerned that he should not be doing such activities at his age. "Pop can't stand still," his granddaughter said, "...he always has a hammer in his hand." The Eagle reported "...for a nonagenarian the elderly man is indeed active. He reads avidly, writes letters, goes to church every Sunday, and even dances the rhumba." Just two days later on his 90th birthday, Mr. Notarfrancesco's family relented, and allowed him to celebrate this milestone by climbing back onto his garage roof -- to dance the rhumba with his granddaughter.

Turning 90 is a great reason to dance the rhumba

In 1954, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on another senior borough dancer, Mrs. Laura Louise Otomanelli, who celebrated her 103rd birthday by dancing the tarantella at an Italian restaurant in Bath Beach. Witnessing her celebratory dance were multiple generations of her family -- including children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild who sat watching wide-eyed in appreciation. The secret of her longevity, the Eagle reported, was "good clean living and hard work. One should never sit back and take it easy" she said.

Turning 103 is a great reason to dance the tarantella