A weekend ago, we celebrated my Great Uncle John, Zio Giovanni’s, 81st birthday. Can you believe it? 81! And this past Saturday, we had the pleasure of celebrating Nick’s Grandma, EZ Lyman’s, 85th Birthday!
Both are incredibly talented, wonderful, kind people – who’ve both been these crazy family legends that I’ve heard tales of my entire life. These octogenarians know how to get down, that’s for sure.
So yes… around recently, we’ve been kickin’ it crazy 80s style. Let me re-cap the two most recent birthday parties I’ve attended:
EZ Lyman, Happy 85th Birthday!
EZ has always been a tomboy-with-class idol of mine.
She’s Uncle Bobby’s Mom and you can so tell: Ethelyn is long-known for going hunting and fishing with the boys, keeping up with their outdoor antics and being able to hold her own. The flip side is that she’s a wonderfully warm and sweet woman, known all over the region (and probably farther than that) for her incredible landscape and nature paintings. She’s won awards and prizes for her ability to capture the charm of Western New York scenery – whitetail deer, sugar houses, snow covered trees, glens and dales and that sort of thing. Everyone I know in my family (except for myself *pouts*) has some of EZ’s paintings displayed in their homes.
I’ll have to do a whole post about EZ’s artwork, it’s just wonderful. Even as I was Google-ing her the other day, I found some awesome old newspapers with photos of her artwork, or articles listing the prizes she’s won. Maybe I can even sneak over to her “studio” and get some action shots of her painting.
So Happy 85th Birthday, EZ! It’s so nice to be up here and able to get to know you better.
I was a derelict on Saturday, and spent far more time eating pasta (along with Uncle Bobby’s incredible venison meatballs- perfectly seasoned, they tasted just like Italian sausage, and not gamey at all), and laughing as we were shooting the breeze and telling crazy stories, than taking photos. So I don’t have too many from this past Saturday’s birthday afternoon.
Uncle John, Happy 81st Birthday!!
My Great Uncle John celebrated his 81st Birthday at his home, a rustic log cabin (his dream cabin) out in the country… kinda near Cherry Creek, but mostly near some dairy farms and Amish folk. He requested a birthday bonfire, so that is exactly how we celebrated. (Hence why I’ve been eating microwave s’mores lately, we brought home the leftovers).
Now, my Uncle John is a very special man. He’s our family patriarch, and really has been my entire life. Dynamic, witty, sassy, outstanding and incredible – there is no one on this earth like my Uncle John. A former Marine who fought in Korea, the first ever Brut model, a Broadway star, a television actor, world-traveler, biker leather daddy, Italian-speaking, chef extraordinaire – he’s amazing.
Really amazing – and just always himself, be that cheesy, or silly, or a little bit country.
He used to teach drama for years and years, and although recently retired from that – he’s still acting. In fact, he has a play coming up this fall that we’re excited to see. He’s brilliant on stage, always stealing the show.
Ahh my Uncle John. I just smile when I type his name. I’ve always held such a special place in my heart for him. He’s the brother of my late Grandma Rose, whom I was named for – and who I’ve never actually met (she passed away before I was born). I’d have to dedicate an entire blog (not just a post, an entire blog itself) into chronically properly the life and times of the one and only UJ.
So for now, I’ll just post a ton of photos I took at his 81st birthday bonfire:
After building the fire, making s’mores, and hanging out in the cool air by the warm burning wood for hours… we decided to let it die down so we could head inside for cake and birthday gifts + cards.
It was getting late, and we were all getting loopy… so we decided to call it a night and let UJ enjoy some birthday peace. All in all, it was a fun evening and I’m glad I could actually be up here to celebrate one of my Great Uncle’s birthdays with him (I don’t think I’ve celebrated an actual birthday with him since his 75th?).
Happy Birthday to both EZ and UJ, it’s been a blast celebrating with you Crazy 80s – but more so, it’s been a pleasure knowing you and spending time with you, always.
As always – thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr