• Daughter reveals Vermont woman's secret to longevity
    By Eric Blaisdell
     | January 21,2013

    BERLIN – One of the oldest people in Vermont died Friday at the age of 106 and her daughter said the secret to her longevity was staying positive.

    Although Carmen Sorbanelli father lived to be 96 years old and mother lived to be 87, she was the first in her family to live past 100, according to her daughter Dolores Reinecke.

    “She never smoked or drank and ate a rather healthy diet, but if you asked her why she lived so long she’d say, ‘Because I smile,’” Reinecke said.

    Reinecke said one of Sorbanelli’s favorite stories was when she was working at a polling station in Hudson County, N.J. in the
    1930s. Sorbanelli was worried about people taking ballots out of the ballot box so her solution was to sit on the box.

    “She would say that was the only time there was an honest election in Hudson county,” Reinecke said laughingly.
    Reinecke remembered the first time her mother flew in the 1980s. She said they were going to Hawaii and when the plan flew over a volcano Reinecke closed her eyes and gripped the armrests in fear, while her mother had a different reaction.

    She was relaxed and happy. She loved every new adventure,” Reinecke said.

    Flying is a part of Sorbanelli’s family history. Reinecke claimed Sorbanelli’s father, Vincent Raschella, had flown an airplane he had built in Italy before the Wright brothers made their historic flight in 1903.

    The New York Public Library has some of Raschella’s documents and describe him as an artist and aeronautic inventor of gliders and dirigibles. According to documents at the library, Raschella flew one of his hang gliders named “The Falcon” over 200 ft. in 1889.

    For the complete story, see Tuesday's Rutland Herald.

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