Sunday, August 8, 2010

happy birthday sonny

uncle bill

Sonny is the nickname given by relatives down in Marion to my Uncle Bill Girtman. He is my Mom's only sibling and they grew up in a time when life was simpler and music plentiful.  He can play guitar like nobody's business and owns almost a dozen that he proudly displays in their home in Bourbonnais.  I fondly recall fantastic fun-filled Friday nights when Wayne and I were mere teenagers and we popped in their home near Midway to party with them and my folks.  You could hear the whooping and hollering down the block as they all sang, played guitars and rawhide.  His daughter, Cindy, and her husband, Billy, joined us sometimes.  How cool is that where the kids join in the partying with parents? 
uncle bill and aunt diane

The Girtmans hosted just about every Thanksgiving when we were kids and I couldn't quite figure that out.  Our family had 10 people and we went by them all the time.  We watched soap operas in Cindy's room while waiting for the delicious feast.  Sometimes I would play their albums and 45s and found we had the same taste in music.  Uncle Bill's specialty is country music and he would always play classic hillbilly songs that we listened to on vacation in Bass Lake.  They shared so many memories as we grew up and are a huge part of my childhood.  Their home was always spotless and decorated beautifully. 
his famous creations

If Uncle Bill gets involved in a new passion - look out, for he will master any new craft he decides to pursue.  He discovered one of his enormous talents in painting landscapes based on Bill Alexander, the Happy Painter, and how to frame them. The mighty fan brush! Our home is graced with many of his beautiful artworks.  We gave our son a beautiful candle painting for one of his rooms and he loves it.  Knowing Uncle Bill painted it enhances the beauty even more so.  He always has a hobby in his life, whether it be discovering our family tree, computers, painting, playing music, gardening and best of all master chef.  He even made a darkroom and took fabulous photographs that were published in the Chicago Tribune. His recipes are shared on Aunt Diane's blogg at  You will be amazed at their creations and I suggested they publish a cookbook.  They would make a fortune.
the girtmans

Uncle Bill is blessed with a beautiful soulmate, his Lady Di, his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Billy; grandkids Megan, Steve and Brittney; and Megan and Brent's princess, Juliette (his great granddaughter.)  They share the love of popcorn together and he now plays guitar while she sings.  It's in the genes!  Wayne enjoys being around Uncle Bill for he has a calming and soothing effect on him.  His laid back manner rubs off on him for as long as he's known him - 37 years. We look forward to celebrating with their family today and are grateful they are in our lives.  I must get a picture of him jamming on the guitar so I'll be clicking away today.  Here's to you, Sonny - happiest birthday and warm wishes for many more! xo
bill jammin'
his pride and joys