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Date: Friday July 1st, 2011

Time: After soccer match btwn Italy vs. Germany

Venue: Piazza in Nocera Terinese next to the church

Food: Penne pasta, sausage and wurstel paninis

So after our big game, the Italians couldn’t hang around for a drink because they had to go home take showers and cook for our “Pasta and Panini Party”. This was our version of the “Dress Rehearsal Dinner”.  I would like to inform everyone that we actually never even had a dress rehearsal.  I would like to think of this party as a “Getting to Know You Party”.  We had friends from N.Y., Miami, Puerto Rico, D.C., Austria, Holland and Germany come to partake.  We invited our families and friends to join us for not just food but for beer, homemade wine, and cocktails made by my friend Carlo.  Shaken not stirred.

My cousins Roberto and Salvatore and their friends all helped out with the setting up of the tables, cooking and cleaning.  I want to thank all of them for doing that for us. I want to also thank my cousin Angelina, for letting us use her big refrigerator and bar.

Our chief pasta chef.

First in line!!

While we eat pasta the sausage cooks.

Back for seconds!

i Tedeschi

Caroline and my sis have secured their spots.

Jen seems to think the pasta is good.

Napoleone trying to convince Sean to eat Peperoncino.

Sis and I are used to eating like this in our family!

Christine in Calabria.

His Italian name is now "FLAVIO".

Over at this table I think Christine and Flavio are waiting for the sausage paninis.

Our top chefs need a break though.

The sausages and wurstels are going quickly.

Looks like "i gemelli" (twins) have been hogging up the sausage paninis all for themselves.

Ive seems to have gotten his hands on a panino as well.

My lovely Aunt Angela with my sis-in-law, Doris.

NOT sure what these three are up to. Can't be good with Judy around.

AJ and I with maybe 1/10th of my family.

Our wonderful bestman (in blue) getting ready for next day's ceremony.

Carlo creating a ruckus behind the bar. Cocktails anyone?

Brotherly love!

Me and my cousin Ciccio. Who flew in from Abu Dhabi to be with us.

A little serenade to end the evening.

La marescialla con il mio amico Carlo.

Time for our crew to pack up and go home. Thanks guys.

This is the first year my dad isn’t with us.  A bit ironic because it’s also the year I am getting married. (I know it took me awhile.) Do I feel slighted? Hmm, depends I guess on which day I am asked. He wouldn’t of been able to walk me the down the aisle anyway because he had gotten early-stages Alzheimer’s. He was at the point where he didn’t even recognize anyone. I will say that I absolutely feel fortunate for the days, months and years I got to spend with him.  Yea he drove me nuts. I remember thinking how strict he was. I wasn’t allowed to go to sleep-overs. I was the only girl out of my friends that had to be home at like 10pm and wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend til I was like 21. (OK that part I am exaggerating a bit about).

He forever lives in my heart and even in my thoughts. Thinking about him makes me smile and brings me laughter.

There are always things we wished we DID say or regretted we DID’NT say, usually after one passes.  I hope that he knows how much I truly loved and love him but just in case…I decided to put together a list of my fondest memories. Hope my words are reaching you up in heaven.

REASONS WHY I LOVE MY DAD (BTW – This is the short, short list)

1. He always told me to “marry for love and not for money”.

2. He was proud of me when I graduated from college. He said I should have a good education and something to fall back on.

3. He taught me how to play foosball.

4. First person I saw dance the “Tarantella” was my dad.  He really knew how to work  a crowd. (For those of you who don’t know what the Tarantella is here is a video to give u an idea.)

5. He bought my my first record albums, Donna Summer’s “On the Radio” & The Village People’s “Macho Man”.

6. He bought me my first pair of white leather roller skates with red wheels and red, glittery laces.

7. He would always invite people to stay with us.  Especially friends of friends from Italy who had no where to live.

8. He was an excellent cook who made the best shrimp scampi and baked clams.

9. He always made sure he hugged me and my sister.

10. He called Sylvester Stallone “Silver Sta – lo- neh” and Michael Jackson “Maca Johnson”. He had a very thick Calabrese-Italian accent.

11. He always made sure I had money in my pocket in case I had to call home.

12. He could care less about high-end brands or expensive things. The least superficial man I knew. Things like having a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs were more significant.

13. He taught me and my sis to love each other no matter what. We are the best of friends.

14. He always felt guilty after yelling at me.

15. And of course the way we all remember him is how he made everyone laugh and was the life of the party. He did the best re-enactments and had the best stories that usually involved him getting into and out of all sorts of trouble.

—So all you dads and future dads out there remember that you do make impressions on your kids. You may think that we don’t remember things you teach or say to us, but trust me we remember all the special things. Oh and adding a little humor into your kid’s upbringing doesn’t hurt either.

Happy Father’s Day!

#ReasonsIlovemydad