That’s something worth celebrating in a big birthday way for the Sordello family.
Members of the clan from Tracy and Morgan Hill gathered at Applebee’s restaurant Monday, which of course was Feb. 8,
to mark the occasion for the “triple birthday trio” — 87-year-old Ray Sordello of Tracy, 86-year-old Madeline Sordello Guglielmo of Morgan Hill and 85-year-old Antone “Nene” Sordello of Tracy.
All were born Feb. 8 in successive years in the 1920s in the Santa Clara Valley to Antonio and Marina Sordello, who moved to the U.S. from Cuneo in the Piemonte region of northern Italy.
Ray is the oldest, born in 1923. He was followed by sister Madeline, born the same date in 1924, and Antone, born on the by-now familiar date in 1925. A third brother, the late Rich Sordello, appeared on the scene four years later — on April 5, 1929.
The unique common Feb. 8 birthdate three years in a row for the oldest three Sordello children was featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” in 1935.
“We all grew up together on the family farm near Morgan Hill,” explained Madeline. “We worked on the farm, which grew walnuts, prunes and grapes. We were close and stuck up for each other.”
Madeline married George Guglielmo and remained in the Morgan Hill area, where the family has operated a winery for more than a half-century. The three brothers, finding
farming opportunities greater in this area, moved south of Tracy in 1955 and farmed here for 40 years, before retiring in 1995.
“We purchased the George Covert Ranch on Bird Road and farmed walnuts, apricots and almonds,” said Antone, who still lives with his wife, Elaine, on a piece of the property. Brother Ray and his wife, Tillie, are residents of the Emeritus at Heritage Place retirement community. Rich died last May in Sacramento.
In addition to farming, the three brothers operated a commercial walnut huller and also used surveying techniques to plot out a number of orchards for neighbors south of Tracy.
Besides their four children, the patriarch and matriarch of the Sordello clan — Antonio and Marina Sordello — had 15 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren.
A number of grandchildren and a few great-grandchildren stopped by Applebee’s on Monday to say “happy birthday” three times on one special day.
• Contact Sam Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org.