Welcome to the family, Charlie Graziano! Colleen and Frankie, two of the best.
TORRINGTON: There are some days when you just want to head to the mountain top and scream with joy because the news is just that good.
Now, granted, I'm kind of a good news obsessed kind of person but today, I have even more reason to be in a celebratory mood.
You see, a young man who I consider one of the best ever to come into my familyâ€™s life, Frankie Graziano and his amazing bride, Colleen, have welcomed their first child into the world and his name is Charlie.
Young Charlie took his time getting to the main stage, he was due on New Years Eve but hey, who wants to share one's birthday on a day everybody is celebrating something else?
On Monday, I reached out to Frankie to see how things were going and he informed me that Colleen was going to be induced that day and the bambino, which none of us knew the sex of, would be here pretty soon.
That fact thrilled my wife Deb, who turned 33 again on Monday, January 8 (just go with it, it's how we roll here) who shares her birthday with one of my cousins, a niece and of course, Elvis Presley.
Adding a Graziano baby would have made her day.
I still think it might count even though Charlie made his appearance at a little after five a.m. on Tuesday, January 9. So close.
Frankie Graziano is a Torrington boy, through and through even though he now resides in Glastonbury with Colleen.
I'll never forget getting to know the charismatic former "Raider Crazy" during the days of the Torrington Twisters back when I was doing some free lance work with the Register Citizen and he doing some on-field interviews after the game with assorted players.
Graziano always took his work seriously, so much so that he would do said interviews in a full suit and tie on 90-degree nights with the humidity jungle-like at Fuessenich Park.
A sports guy at heart, Graziano worked his way up through internships and finally paid gigs, including time with CPTV where he never forgot to have myself and Rick Wilson on a broadcast from Mohegan Sun while we were covering a championship basketball game.
He never forgot his friends and the people doing the hard work.
When they CPTV crew would be at a Torrington football game, you knew that meant only one thing.
Mama Graziano would be on hand to serve dinner to the crew and assorted sports writers who knew there was a spread under the bleachers by the ambulance turned broadcast center.
I heard once that crews would request the Torrington run once the figured out that great food, cooked by Mama Graziano would be featured.
Her son, Francesco (if we are being formal and official) learned a lot about how to give back and to love others because of the great lessons he learned at home from his mother and father.
When I tried my best to destroy my knee back in 2013 and was stuck at home from December to March the following year, Frankie was one of those friends who made sure to stop by with a Carbone's Grinder (roast beef from what I remember, I just finished the massive portion last week) and words of support.
His energy and support helped the healing process and it's something I'll never forget.
Of late, you can hear Graziano on WNPR doing stories from sports to politics with an equal passion and professionalism that has taken him to the place he finds himself now.
When Frankie met Colleen and we all met Colleen, you instantly knew that this was a match made in heaven.
The two of them complimented each other so well and to be around them is simply magical.
Their wedding will always be ranked right up there with any wedding we have ever been a part of.
Their inclusiveness and the energy that came out of that building was remarkable.
Mama Graziano was remarkable on the dance floor from start to finish, putting many younger folks to shame.
Zumba pays off people!
When the song "Mama I'm Coming Home", by Ozzy Osborne blared across the room and we were in the middle of a scrum that made you feel about 20 years younger, it perfectly summed up what these two kids stood for.
It was and always will be about family.
When our daughter Jillian and our second granddaughter Harper came to visit in late October last year, Frankie and Colleen came for a visit and within minutes were talking and laughing with Jillian and her boyfriend Brandon like they had known each other for years!
Harper actually fell asleep of Colleen's belly, something she had never done with someone she had just met.
Harper knew, this was a great mom.
Now it is their turn to experience the joy and the challenges of being parents.
Kiss that sleep goodbye but hey, only for the next 18 or 20 years!
All kidding aside, congratulations to two young folks who we love like there were our own and wish then nothing but happiness in their future.
PS: Deb is still available to baby sit, anytime¦..