On June 28, 1933, Henry Mantelli married the young, beautiful,
hazel-eyed, Italian lady he met in the Albany drug store where he
was the neighborhood pharmacist. Carla Perigotti had gone in
several times to catch the eye of the charming American Italian
druggist. Finally, after trying on a flashy shade of lipstick,
Carla summoned up the courage to ask Henry how he like it on her.
The rest as they say is history.
On June 28, 1933, Henry Mantelli married the young, beautiful, hazel-eyed, Italian lady he met in the Albany drug store where he was the neighborhood pharmacist. Carla Perigotti had gone in several times to catch the eye of the charming American Italian druggist. Finally, after trying on a flashy shade of lipstick, Carla summoned up the courage to ask Henry how he like it on her. The rest as they say is history.
Together, they have seen Santa Clara flourish with rows and rows of white trunked fruit trees known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight” develop into the “Capitol of Silicon Valley,” a man walk on the moon and the wireless cell phone. They made their first home in Berkeley, where Henry worked as pharmacist. Later, he opened his first drug store on the corner of Shirley and San Pablo. Life was good with the birth of their two children, Shirley and Bert. In the 1940’s they moved to Mountain View, where Henry and Carla raised Shirley and Bert among the acres of apricots, cherries, walnuts and prunes. Henry and Carla often enjoyed trail riding around California on horse back, a sport they continued well into their 80’s. They watched their children grow, go to college, marry and start their own families. In the late 1950’s, as “town” moved in on them and the orchards were felled to make way for houses, they moved down to a small town further south-Gilroy. This time, Henry and Carla raised Hereford cattle and horses. First, on the “Little Ranch” west of what is now Mantelli Drive and later up in the La Cañada de Los Osos. There on the picturesque Mantelli Ranch, Henry and Carla helped raise another generation of “cowboys”. Every summer they hosted their grandchildren, Lisa and Bart Ladd, Mike, David and Marc Mantelli to come and live with them to learn the art of working black Angus and Charolais cattle and running free around the ranch.
Just as the dust flew in the corrals below when Henry worked his cattle, so did the flour up in the house. Carla was well known for her many delicious dishes she would serve friends and family. To this day she still cooks up and will send visitors away with a still hot, crunchy foccacia. Throughout their home, her self-taught paintings decorated the house; many of her family as well as the breathtaking views of their beloved ranch. Henry, a long time member of the Santa Clara Cattlemen’s Association worked as their secretary for over 20 years, because he could still type with two fingers faster than most can type with all 10! He is well known to the staff of Nob Hill and Bank of America as he still makes his weekly trips down the hill and into town.
Henry was honored with having the South Valley Crippled Children’s Society’s biggest fundraiser named after him. Each year they would have the Henry Mantelli Golf Tournament up at the Gilroy golf course. Recently, Ginny Bono wrote to them saying the reason they named their biggest fund raiser after him was because he was the only man in town about whom no one could say a bad word. For 10 years, Henry was one of their hardest workers; he hit up almost every business in town for donations. Everyone looked forward to the raffles and prizes they could win.
On the day of their 70th anniversary, surrounded by their daughter Shirley and son in law, Philip Ladd, their grandchildren Lisa Ladd, Bart and Michele Ladd, Michael and Phylis Mantelli, David and June Mantelli, Marc Mantelli, all their great-grandchildren; Ariel and Dominique Mantelli, Carla and Brigitte Ladd, Nolan and Pixie Ladd-Barrett as well as Carla’s distant cousins, Bon and Vicki Sarka and Rose Pelleno, Henry and Carla celebrated their long marriage and the joy they have brought to those that love and honor them. Henry kissed his bride once again and they smiled as they remember the day long ago back in Albany when that charming young man married his beautiful sweet hear.