A Long Life Well-Lived Through Service
Per Frank Sinatra, love is lovelier the second time around. For Connie Lobo, life is a waltz — one, two, three time’s a charm. A 15-year Revivals Palm Desert staff member, Connie is small in stature but mighty in knowledge. She brings more than 50 years of experience to the store.
She came to Rancho Mirage 23 years ago to visit a friend when something unexpected happened: She met Denis. Their commonalities astounded them. Each is an only child, each has the same China pattern from previous marriages, each installed the same tile in their hallway, and their birthdays are five days apart in March. What didn’t they have in common? Their age. Denis is 12 years Connie’s junior.
But age is just a number. So, a year later, Connie sold her house in Arizona, and they moved in together. Her eldest daughter, Cecelia, joined them later. Immortalized in Joshua M. Dragotta’s 2012 documentary, Cecelia gained fame as exotic dancer and burlesque performer Satan’s Angel. Her specialty is in the film’s title: “Satan’s Angel: Queen of the Fire Tassels.”
Connie and Denis never married because, she says, with a twinkle in her eye, “My first name is Constance, and his last name is Constant.” While that’s true, it was pragmatism that won the day. Both have children from previous marriages — Denis, one son; Connie, two, plus Cecelia. Their previous lives and estates were written in permanent markers.
A home furnishings designer, Connie took a position at Wacky Wicker, but when the owner sold, Connie retired, something she’d tried several times. It never stuck.
Cecelia suggested she volunteer. Connie resisted but interviewed as a gesture. She spent a year donating of her time at Revivals in Cathedral City. Her skill at identifying and pricing pre-loved home furnishings didn’t go unnoticed. Revivals Palm Desert offered her a staff position. Retirement just wasn’t sticky.
“Everyone knows and enjoys Connie,” says Palm Desert Store Manager Douglas Marriott. “Her wealth of knowledge helps me function better. We recently had a few statues that I thought were worth maybe $250.” Connie pipes in: “They were Rossi.” That’s Leonardo Rossi, whose work has brought up to $5,000 at auction. Connie’s pricing was fair, but nowhere near what you’d pay at auction or retail. “They didn’t stay around long,” Marriott says with a chuckle.
This year marks Connie’s 97th on the planet. When asked her secret to longevity, she quips, “Black coffee.” Her two boys — Ron (75) and Ray (65) — live in Texas and New Jersey, respectively. Cecelia passed away in 2019 at age 75. It’s still difficult for Connie. Cecelia was not only her firstborn. “We were the best of friends,” Connie says quietly. “The best.”
When a night out is called for, Connie and Denis enjoy La Tablita (near the Cathedral City Revivals), but she prefers to cook and stay in with Denis and their two rescue pups. Some believe if you’re over 60, you can’t find good, lasting friends, let alone love. After two marriages, and 70 years, Connie found both. She can’t tell you the recipe for love, but she can share her recipe for chili.
Connie Lobo’s Kansas Style Chili: Brown one pound of ground beef seasoned with salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and chili powders. Add two cans Mexican-style tomatoes and four cans of red kidney beans. Heat until done. Enjoy with corn chips.