Vignette > 82nd Wedding Anniversary

Tony Brabo was born in Mill Valley on February 14, 1912.  Both of his parents died in 1924, and Tony became a ward of the state. In 1926 when he was 14 years old, the County arranged for him to work on a Tennessee Valley dairy ranch. Tony slept alone in a shed near the milk barn. No heat, no lights, no plumbing.  Every day, he arose at 3 am, brought 75 cows into the milk barn, attached milking machines and carried the 5-gallon milk containers to the cooler in the milk house.  At 7 am he had breakfast at the ranch house.  At 3 pm he repeated the milking operation. At 7 pm he had dinner at the ranch house. He quit in 1929 having saved all his never-cashed paychecks. In May 1929, Tony met Mary Bettencourt at IDESST Hall, a Portuguese lodge in Sausalito. She was 18 and he was 17. Two months later they eloped and lived in the small Homestead Valley farmhouse where Mary was born. The community celebrated their 82nd wedding anniversary at the 2011 July 4th party in Stolte Grove. Tony was 99 and Mary was 100 years old. Marin County honored the couple with a resolution of admiration for their 82 years of marriage.