Happy Birthday, Pop!


Pictured with my sister above is my grandfather, John Dino DiCarlo, or Pop.  He passed away on June 10th, 2013 and today would have been his 82nd birthday.  In honor of such an amazing man who lived his life so well, I’ve put together a kind of virtual scrapbook — a collection of memories, wise words, smiling faces, and things of meaning.  There’s so many titles that could describe Pop: Catholic, business man, Italian, son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend – but somehow, Pop, the name that all his grandchildren called him, seems to sum it all up.  Please enjoy getting to know one of the greatest men I have ever known.  Please press play on the audio track above to hear a song while you read.  The song is by my band, Spinning Jenny, and was written about Pop towards the end of his life.  I think of him every time I play it.


Here’s Pop and my grandma on their wedding day back in 1952! Their marriage would eventually produce six children, twenty-two grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren!

Pop-ism #1: “Eat that, it’s good for you! It’ll make hair grow on your chest!


Here he is in his backyard with my cousin! The love he showed to all of us grandkids was incredible.  When Pop talked to you, you felt that love in every word.

Pop-ism #2: “I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!”


Pop taught me that you’re never too old to be silly.  When I was younger he drove me to karate or dancing and we played games the entire way.  Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was one of our favorites, and he made the occasions when I would hit a million bucks in the final question feel as triumphant as the real thing.


“Today would have been my Dad’s 82nd birthday. Not a day goes by that we don’t think of him and talk about his favorite things especially his love for his family. We ask him to please pray for us as he looks down from heaven. He was a wonderful father and I’ll keep his memory in my heart forever.” – Today’s facebook status from my aunt.


Pop, you were one of the biggest role models in my life and I miss you so much, but I know that I’ll see you again.  Love every day, forever,

– Julia

“You are my sunshine

My only sunshine

You make me happy

When skies are grey

You’ll never know, dear

How much I love you

Please don’t take my sunshine away”


4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Pop!

  1. I’m so proud of you Julia…Grandma and I love you and thank you for this beautiful post. One more bit of trivia about Pop…As Gus, one of his customers used to say, John DiCarlo you best man in United States! What a compliment!

  2. Julia,
    This is so beautiful! Thank you for this wonderful tribute . I miss his kind face. And you, my dear have a beautiful heart and soul.

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