Friday, September 21, 2012

Celebrating A 60-year Old Vintage

Joe's 60th birthday pictorial:

Joe got out of the car at Mattebella Vineyard and was all confused. There were so many cars in the parking lot and a tent set up in the vineyard.  He kept asking, "What's going on here?" After Alece and Andrew (the two out-of-state children) ran over to him, he finally realized what was happening.

The "boys", Michael and Andrew, led him over to all the guests waiting under the tent.

One after another, we both had reunions like this one!

Musician, Dave Kotliar, played awesome background music for the day.

This was the view out of one side of the tent at Mattebella Vineyard.

A boy at heart!

Joe's best childhood friends came. Their reunions were joyous to watch. Needless to say there was much laughter and tears throughout the day.

This is Howie with Joe - lifelong buddies, even though they rarely ever see each other.

Oh, the stories and reminiscing that flowed! Howie and AnnMarie surprised us with photos and memorabilia from when we  were "youngsters" just starting out our life together.

Joe with Randy, his childhood next door neighbor and best friend.  Joe and Randy hadn't seen each other in about 35 years.  The split second the saw each other, the "remember whens" started. Our daughter, Alece, is on the right.

And Randy and Harriet brought BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS.  Wow!  They drove up from the DC area just for the party. Other friends drove up from North Carolina.  How blessed we are!

Bob, a friend and co-worker said Grace before we ate and then Joel, another friend and co-worker toasted Joe. Very emotional!

Our children and I prayed blessings over the birthday boy.

Various people were sharing funny and sentimental stories.  Donna, a co-worker and friend from years ago, shared from her heart and set the tears a flowing - again!

Bob Q sang songs to Joe. He started out with This Song Is For You, which had us in tears. Then he sang a song he wrote about a couple of funny episodes from Joe's past, which had us in hysterics.

Later in the day, Bob sang his rendition of Amazing Grace - blowing us all away. Thank you, Q!

Alece in a tender moment with her Daddy after her prayer.

And a dancing moment with her "vintage" Dad.

Andrew with his Dad after the prayer time.

And Michael.  

Then came THE GUITAR...

"Close your eyes and put out your hands, Joe."

(And Joe sat like this through the whole speech. Patiently waiting.)

The whole purpose of the party was to present Joe with the guitar I bought him.

This is the precious guitar that I saved and planned for - for two years.  Below is my presentation "speech". I share it with you, my blogging community.  This guitar is a custom-made, one-of-a-kind Gibson -  made for a specific musician. He played it for only 30 minutes and then added it to his guitar collection. Because he is friends with Alece, he sold it to me for an unbelievable price.  Thank you, Al Dinardi!

Here are my words to Joe (affectionately known as Guin):

Forty years ago, we were just out of HS - we were kids. You did something that changed the course of our lives. You sold your treasured guitar to buy me an engagement ring.

Your selfless gesture showed me what kind of man you were - even at that young age. You were willing to sacrifice -  to give up something that meant so much to you and was a reflection of your singleness - to show me love and your willingness to become one with me. It no longer was Joe Ronzino, but we became Guin and Kid. One.

And you didn’t just purchase me an engagement ring from that guitar money. You purchased a quality stone and then custom designed the setting. It is, as far as I know, the only one in the world like it. And you gave it to me from the treasure of your heart.  

We started our lives. Our children were born, and you have provided for your family all these years. 

Over the course of these 40 years, you purchased yourself guitars - only to give each one of them away to someone who had a need or a desire. You even purchased a magnificent saxophone for an aged musician who desired to play the blues once more. 

Guin, a couple of years ago, I started planning to purchase you something special for your 60th birthday. This party is a result of wanting to have a few friends at your favorite vineyard so that I could present you with this long-awaited gift. The party was planned around this presentation, like icing on a cake.

Like my engagement ring, this gift also was custom designed. This too, as far as I know, is the only one in the world like it. And I give it to you from the treasure of my heart. Happy birthday, Guin!

Thank You, LORD for the day Joe was born, and thank You for taking care of every detail for me! Thank You for this magnificent guitar! I give You all the praise and glory!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Betty said...

What a beautiful story of Joe selling his guitar to buy your ring. I am sure everyone who came was blessed as they saw your love for you man.

Thanks for making us a part of it by offering up prayers. And now sharing pictures and words spoken.

Wonderful memories you have made for everyone, all your hard work paid off. Blessings my friend.

Pam said...

Looks like you had such a wonderful time together. What a beautiful memory this day will be for a long time to come. You did a fabulous job putting this together, Diane. I love that all your oldest friends could make it... 35 years sounds like a long time, but in a way it seems like it has gone in a blink of an eye. So great when we can connect again with friends like that, almost like there was no time. The story of Joe's guitar reminds me of that famous O'Henry Christmas story - Gift of the Magi. And your idea for this gift was inspired. Thanks for sharing all this and all the photos - gives us a feeling of being there! When you said you were the "kid" it reminded me of a favorite old movie I love, called Full of Life - there was an old Italian "Papa" who always called his grown son the "kid." Maybe an Italian tradition? :)

Martha Herden said...

What a beautiful party for your loving Joe!! So obvious to see the tremendous love you poured into planning it, not missing a Single Detail-having all of your family there, plus long ago friends-as you said, It was Icing on the Cake!

I am sure this moment will NEVER be forgotten by anyone who was there and you have generously shared it with your blogging community.

Love Job-Well Done my Friend.

Well done...

Now rest... ((hugs & blessings))

LOLITA said...

Hi, Diane.

Sorry if I missed when this was and I wish Joe a happy 6th decade birthday. Ours would soon be here too.

I love all the photos and the celebration around your children. That 60 spectacle looks nice and funny.

Diane, I could not be online as much as I would like. Our office connection for employees has been controlled and I like to be in on the staff too. I will try to be connected on weekends to keep updated. Thanks for understanding.

Anonymous said...

..and God is saying of you," My daughter, you did excellently".

What a wonderful event to honor your husband. I am so glad it came off with God's guidance and blessing.

What a wonderful gift as well.

Thanks you for sharing your special moment! ♥

joy said...

YOu know, tears flows on my face as I read this post. Very touching. I just can feel the love, the joy and most specially God's presence. Oh, it is so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this precius moments, your lovely friends and family. Happy happy birthday to Joe. He is really a lucky guy having all of you and God in his heart. Blessing!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you ALL for reading and sharing in this day with me. Thank you for your prayers! It truly was a magnificent day!

Andrew left around 5 AM this morning to head back to Michigan. Alece comes back again today for another week. She, and her friend, Tracee, arrive around 2:30 this afternoon.

So, it will be at last another week before I can get back to a normal routine.

I miss you all. Lolita, Pam wrote and told us of your situation. I'm so sorry about the internet at work. I pray things will change or you will be able to get it at home. This is to stop you from writing and we won't stand for that! In Jesus' Name!

Floyd said...

I can't think of a finer story. True love is the greatest gift in this world. To see a couple and entire family share that gift does something beyond our flesh. I'm blessed because you are blessed. Your blessing is one of true love in action and sacrifice.

Tell Joe I said Happy late birthday and that he's a good man. That means a lot from one to another.

Thanks for sharing this part of your life, Diane. I'm lifted up.

A Joyful Noise said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful day with such lovely photos and words of joy and blessing. Joe is a loving husband to you and has such a giving spirit. A man's guitar is precious to him, and when he sells it or gives it away he does so for a pretty good reason.

Pam said...

Lolita, I so agree with Diane! Standing in prayer with you and all here! God will make a way!

Andrew Ronzino said...

I love this! Thanks for writing about it, Mom!

Crown of Beauty said...

beautiful pictures, Diane! What a wonderful tribute you have given your dear husband. Thank you for sharing this with us - a privilege.


Crown of Beauty said...

Hi Diane, I couldn't help it, I just had to come back to read this post all over again. It was so beautifully planned and carried out I love the engagement ring story... and the guitar story - both custom made, and priceless.

What a beautiful story.

Happy Birthday to Joe.


Jennifer Dougan said...


What a romantic, self-less gesture your Joe made years ago, and what fun for you to be able to surprise him now this year!

Blessings to you both,
Jennifer Dougan

Annmarie Pipa said...

what a wonderful fabulous day!! this is a beautiful uplifting post...happiness all around. you are all blessed.

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you all for your kind words and birthday wishes for Joe. I will definitely pass them on to him!

Judi S. Coleman said...

Diane-- Illness leaves me little time to spend on the internet; I'm so glad that I could not sleep so that I could be up very early and check out your blog that I have missed for so long.

Your love is steady and true--God infuses you and then your love flows through you to others.

I thank God, also, for your marriage. You and I both are blessed with great men.


Diane Ronzino said...

So, good to see your name here, Judi. I've missed you. I have been blogging in quite a while myself due to party prep, then out of town company for two weeks, then sick. Just getting back to everyone's blog.

Thanks for stopping by. I know life is a challenge! God bless you!