To My Uncle Who Would’ve Been 85 Today

I miss the twinkle in your eyes, your sense of humor when viewing the world, and your kindness. 

Your dedication to our family, and your loyalty to your big brother were lessons for us all.

And when it was your turn to lead, you did so with honor, humility, strength, and love.  You were a wonderful uncle: my skinny, curly-haired, very tall uncle who used to sing Rag Top to me while dancing me around Nanie’s dining room, before rushing off to play basketball.

I will always remember you as the man who taught me how to hold a pigeon so gently when I was five, and how you showed me that no matter how far they would fly, they’d always know their way back home again.

Your love for life, and for the people in it was palpable – visible in the way you worked, the way you played, the way you appreciated everything around you.  This is your legacy – who you were, and what you believed in.  And it will go on forever: in the hearts and deeds of those you loved and who loved you.

Thank you, Uncle Danny.

30 thoughts on “To My Uncle Who Would’ve Been 85 Today

  1. Great, Darlene! Hold on, I need to stop for the day and read this fully tomorrow so I can respond! Is there some way I can have new posts automatically forwarded to you from me also? Anyway, let me get to yours first and we’ll talk tomorrow!

    Thanks, dear.



  2. Darlene, what a lovely tribute! Reminds me so much of my Uncle Bob. My mom was the baby of 10 siblings who survived. My Uncle Bob was always my favorite and mother would tell me stories how he ‘pampered’ her all through her childhood. Of course, all of that sisterly doting transferred right onto me when I was born. I miss him so much!


    • Thanks, Wayne. Uncle Danny passed away in December, but yesterday was his birthday so I thought I’d post a little tribute to him with photos. His passing represents the end of an era – the last connection to the old days in Santa Barbara. He was our family historian – If we ever had any questions about family ancestors, he’d usually know the answer. Except for one time when I asked him something about our great-great grandparents, and he said, “Hey, I’m not THAT old!”


  3. Alright, Darlene, a new day, a new dawn, a new post. This tribute, or eulogy, is something I just wish your uncle could read, and in that sole respect, there’s a tinge of sadness. But you bring him to *full* life for all of us with these outstanding pictures of which you have a seemingly endless supply. And with these, you make the whole piece into a positive, fun, full-of-life celebration! And I suspect that’s would he would want and (maybe?) what your own intention is. It certainly comes across if that’s the case. I congratulate you, once again!!

    Thanks for the sharing.

    Best, lynelle


  4. I can feel you wrote this not only with a keyboard, but as well with your heart. I’m sure these memories will keep with you for the rest of your life. I do think it is a great tribute as the other readers. Well done and thank you for sharing!


  5. Hi Darlene. This is Andrea (Craviotto) from Italy. If not mistaken, years ago I met “Dan” when he came to Italy. I had a wonderful evening with him and his lovely wife in Rome, speaking about our family in a tuscanian restaurant, and walking in the historical center of the city. My sister Antonella hosted them in Varazze also, with mobilization of half village – the priest, the english teacher…- to check in the public archives for ancestors and relatives. He was very determined, and interested to see and learn everything. We still remember them and this very surprising visit. I thank you for sharing this tribute and the very beautiful pictures.


    • Hi Andrea! You and I exchanged emails a few years ago. Thank you for coming to my website and reading the tribute to my Uncle Danny. He was our family “genealogist” who was always eager to learn about the history of our family and the people who came before us. I hope you and your family are doing well!


  6. Danny was very good to me. having been very close to his daughter Eileen at the time, I was included in many family functions, the most memorable being Family dinners in the back room at E.J’s, the family restaurant where I was privy to many family stories & Legendary Santa Barbara tales. A wonderful family who treated me as one of their own, please let them know I will always remember that….
    Cheers ~ Fred


  7. I came across your lovely and touching tribute while doing a search for the history of the name ‘Craviotto’ in Varazze. Your uncle sounds like someone I would have enjoyed chatting with over a plate of pasta. I have no idea if we’re distantly related (my maiden name is Craviotto) but I’d like to think that Uncle Danny and I share the same ancestry. ~ Louisa


    • What a lovely comment! Yes, the name “Craviotto” is such an unusual one that we must be distantly related. My uncle and aunt travelled over to Italy a few years ago and came back with a long list of Craviotto names that seem to be our ancestors. We should compare notes, especially if your lineage is from Varazze. That’s where my 2nd Great Grandfather (Antonio Craviotto) was born. It’s very nice to meet you, Louisa!


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