Congratulations to a hard-working George III

After the dinner after the graduation. Happy George and Elisabeth in Liverpool, N.Y.

After the dinner after the graduation. Happy George and Elisabeth in Liverpool.

George Venditti III put on the cap and gown in Oneonta and went up there with a whole bunch of other young people to mark the occasion of receiving that coveted academic degree.

As a bunch of proud parents sat around a table at the Retreat in Liverpool, N.Y., during a celebration dinner, my marvelous daughter Elisabeth handed me over her iPhone to show me a photo to prove it.

No, not some climactic stage moment in some stuffy academic building.

There stood George out in the bright sunshine, cap on, gown on, head thrust back, arm held high, wine bottle held to his mouth.

I laughed.

Perfect, young man.

Elisabeth had her SUNY Oneonta moment two years ago, and that day in that May included George and these same adults and a dinner in Liverpool, too.

We love George. He really hasn’t had to step foot in an Oneonta classroom for a while now, tying up loose credits at OCC and with a required work internship, and being at Elisabeth’s side through this life we share.

Now that school chapter is done. He’s already back to working with his father, the very nice George Jr., at his surveying business based in Baldwinsville. Everybody got a good laugh last night when George’s parents relayed the tale that at his graduation from Baker High, they announced him as George III, but instead of “the third,” they called him “eye eye eye.” Academia!

Joining the parents last night was Pat, George’s twin brother. They are not identicals. George and George look alike. Pat looks more like his mom, Susan. That’s my opinion, anyway.

It was fun, six parents all happy this evening, all with a stake in these two substantial young people celebrating another significant moment. Elisabeth’s mom, Diane, and her husband, Barclay; George and Susan; and my dear wife Karen and I are all obviously proud of how they are and what they are becoming.

What’s the latest graduation dinner you’ve attended? Do you go to a lot of blended family get-togethers? Do you have twins in your family? Identical or fraternal? Is there a III or IV in your family tree?

30 thoughts on “Congratulations to a hard-working George III

  1. Congratulations to George!! So glad he was able to achieve this accomplishment. The photograph is a wonderful one that could easily be framed. An attractive and happy couple is nice to see! The one (on the Iphone) with the bottle was a very realistic one of a graduate. It captured his enthusiasm too. Your Elisabeth is beautiful, Mark (and Karen, too)! I chuckled at the eye eye eye and wonder why people in Academia aren’t always very bright. I mean Kings and Queens use the III and also, World Wars I and II. Oh well! Fantastic day and night for all of you!


  2. Ah, the last graduation dinner I attended was my own. And I don’t think we had dinner. I would love to have blended family get-togethers with my son’s dad and his family, but his wife hates me. No twins. Yes, 2’s and 3’s. We call the third Trey. The second is Junior according to Grandma, but she’s a bit of a rube. 😉 Personally, I call them David the Two and Larry the Three, etc. But I like the eye, eye, eye that George’s family uses. That’s a fun one! Your daughter is beautiful! 😀


  3. what a wonderful and positive post, mark, and what a good-looking couple they are, but i know you already are clear on that ) i loved blended family and friends holidays and celebrations of all kinds. recently we went to dinner after the youngest h’s graduation, with an backyard celebration planned on memorial day weekend. this should be a fun mix of all ages and connections to the family and i really look forward to it. in my family, the closest i can come is that my father was a jr., but decided he didn’t want to make my brother suffer with being a third, so he gave him his own name )


  4. Go, George! My husband is a V, and the IV and III are both alive, so that can make for quite some snafus in terms of mail and property, etc. You can’t imagine how hard I’ve tried to make a VI!


    • So why are you wasting your time reading my blog, Kerbey, bet back in there …

      Just joking, my friend.

      Life must be interesting married to a V who has a IV and a III alive and well. Fun times in Texas.


      • I usually have the #4 combo with a shrimp chile relleno but bc of this acupuncture/herbs for 2 more weeks, I can’t have dairy. So no relleno today. Pork en mole sauce. It’s like you know my habits…:)


      • Oddly, it was until last night. I got 2.5 hrs sleep and had to be at church at 8am for band practice, so I coffeed it up and worked my hair and makeup and stilettos to distract from my shakey sleep-deprived hands, and I made it through the next 5 hrs without blowing the lyrics. I accidentally clapped on the downbeat a few times (the shame!) but I made it. Hoping for more sleep tonight. Thanks for asking. Acup is over; and I’ll be done w/ herbs by June. Crossing fingers…


      • Having to perform that long on hardly any sleep is the pits. Way to go to get through with merely a stray clap.

        Better tonight again, right? Stray bad night. Has to be.

        Needles and herbs. I think you need to write a song about it.

        I have been sleeping like crap lately, too, I think I’ve told you, up by 6:30 every damn day no matter what. But yesterday, three big events in a row, plus writing in between. I was bushed, but still … Beth and I agreed to both push the button to our baseball wager posts at 9 a.m. and I open my eyes and the clock says 9:30. Go figure.


      • So then you did get enough sleep last night? I’m sorry your sleep has been bad. I have to get up at 6:30 to get my son on the bus, but if you don’t need to do that, it would be no fun. Sleeplessness makes a person cranky and crazy and forgetful and after a while, helpless and frustrated. I hope you sleep til noon tomorrow. 🙂


      • I did get enough sleep last night. For once. But I woke up in a panic, but no harm was done.

        I have been operating pretty well on 6 1/2 hours a night. Last night I got 9 and it was a luxury.

        I actually like getting up early because I start blogging right away. I find I write well early.

        How old is your son that needs to be gotten on the bus?


      • 11. I make his lunch while he makes breakfast and then walk him to the corner bc I’m neurotic like half the other parents who hear the news about local kidnappings, then let him walk the rest of the way. But mostly I wake up at 5am, so I’m up anyway. Plus constant construction of new houses and 1000 birds start the noise up at dawn. 9 hrs would be a miracle!


    • Yeah, you’d think they’d have the concept of a third down at a high school commencement ceremony. I guess everybody gets nervous with a microphone in hand! Thanks, Teela!


  5. Congratulations to the graduates! The last graduation I went to was my daughter’s high school graduation. As a single mom, and having moved 3000 miles from home, I don’t go to many extended family events.

    Come to think of it, my parents also moved far away; from Germany to Canada and we didn’t see our grandparents or aunts and uncles and cousins very much either. I often wonder what we all miss because of that.

    Diana xo


  6. It’s been a long time since I went to a graduation dinner Mark. My daughter, Gina, and son in law Bill both got their degrees from Ohio State at the same time, Gina receiving a second Master’s in something, and Bill receiving his PhD in Poly Sci. They both taught at Richmond University, Richmond, VA for a couple of years, until the twins (fraternal) arrived, then moved back to Frankfort, KY, where Gina became mainly a stay at home mom, with 3 young kids, and Bill was working with the State Board of Secondary Education. Then Bill was offered a job as Prof. at UK, grabbed at it, made Chief of Staff there, and still teaches a couple of classes, while Gina has her “causes: and home schools one of the twinks, who has a learning disability.


      • Thanks for that one Mark. I have dozens of new followers thanks to you, and still looking for some of the old ones. Can you get to AnneTBell? Tales Along The Way. Can’t seem to bring her up in my reader, but my computer is slow as molasses in January lately. Evil eye I think. Or maybe it could be the iris that is blooming in front of the building? Jeanette seems to think that’s what is affecting her connection.


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