Brazil Human Interest News
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Centenarian Renalto Risi Palombo, who celebrated his 104th birthday Wednesday, revealed his secret to long life: never get married. One of the oldest inhabitants of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil’s southernmost state – Renalto told his secret to friends gathered for his birthday party at the cafe he has frequented for over 50 years.
Centenarian’s Secret to Long Life: Don’t Get Married
Son of Italian immigrants, Palombo never had children and credits the fact that he never married for his remarkable longevity. For decades, Palombo tailored men’s clothing in Pelotas and before that, in Rio de Janeiro.
Born in 1908 to Italian immigrants, Palombo never attended school. His mother taught him to read and write and, at age 12, his father taught him to be a tailor. He spent the next 7 decades making men’s clothing in Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul.
He speaks fondly of the time he spent in Rio, tailoring for some of the most powerful and influential men of the time. His clients over the decades included governors, generals and even a president: Artur da Costa e Silva, Jose Antonio Flores da Cunha, Leonel Brizola and Carlos Lacerda are names familiar to all Brazilians.
When his health allows, Palombo still goes to the Cafe Aquarius, which he has patronized for over five decades. It is at this cafe, where every year he celebrates his birthday, his friends gathered Wednesday to celebrate the man who has seen the country through over a century of dictatorships and democracy, war and peace, boom and bust.
Even at his advanced age, the good-humored tailor had no problem blowing out the candles on his cake – though there were not 104 of them. Parabéns, Renalto. Parabéns.