Tony the Transformer (and the New WOW)

Some people are transformers by their very nature. My brother-in-law, Tony, whose “birfday” is today is just that kinda guy.

Tony joined the Air Force and was stationed in New Mexico, where he and Shirlee lived for their first years of marriage.

They say that inspired peoples’ energy changes the atmosphere. From the time this wide-eyed 12-year old girl met this hurricane of a man, Tony has made an impact on every room he enters.

Full disclosure: He was my sister’s boyfriend, but I had a HUGE crush on him.

Who wouldn’t?

These were the days of Saturday Night Fever, and man could this Italian heartthrob DANCE.  He didn’t have practiced, official moves.  But he tore it up with his own Northeast Philly disco swagger.

I loved when HE offered to pick me up after the middle-school dance.  He’d strut up to the cafeteria, cigarette in hand, John Travolta-like hair – and collect ME.  Yep, I was the luckiest girl at Cleary Junior High.

What’s that sound? Just the tears of heartbroken women throughout the Delaware Valley when they learned Tony DiBacco was “off the market.”

Oh, and he can SING, too.  No, he never really knows the words, but they’re always on key.  He does a MEAN Elvis and, had the course of his life gone a different way, I have no doubt he would be some kind of an entertainer.

Tony DiBacco is surely a star in my universe.

With my father’s death just a couple of years before Tony entered the picture, we three Costello girls were kind of somber.  Mom had to try and simply maintain the inner and outer workings of running a household, while valiantly serving as mom AND dad to her 15-year-old, Shirlee, and 10-year-old me.

There was no Christmas tree for us the year after Daddy died.

Then Tony swept Shirlee off of her feet and we then experienced SUPER-SIZED Christmases. So many presents!  So much fun opening them!  He would shake every box elaborately and try to guess what was inside.

Tony, to this day, brings electricity to any party.  He constantly cracks one-liners, is unfailingly generous, as handsome as ever…and today, when thinking about our Word of the Week, Transformation, it felt right to devote the column to him.

Tony, I love you.  Thanks for being a wonderful brother and husband to my sissy.  Thanks for always being full of life and fun.  You are a treasure!

I pondered how to transform my own life in 2018, and hope you will understand and support a big decision I reveal in this week’s video:

Looking forward to wearing my forgiving clothes with you over the next two weeks!

And feel free to wish Tony a Happy Birfday (he never pronounces the “th”) in the comments!




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6 thoughts on “Tony the Transformer (and the New WOW)

  1. I remember when Shirlee met Tony. He was so handsome. Well, he still is. Lol. Anyway, she was soooo in love. We had so much fun at the wedding. She always called him “My Tony!” He has a perpetual smile with a twinkle in his eye. I may not see Tony very often or Shirlee, but they are forever in my heart. Love you both❤️

  2. Happy Birfday to Tony. Very inspiring talk today. I will definitely miss my Sunday sermons but will forgive you and look forward to every other week.
    So glad you enjoyed a little taste of South Jersey. Now it’s time to get bake to your zumba classes -LOL!
    Hope this year is a magnificent one for you.
    Love & hugs, AJ XOXO

  3. Awesome birthday tribute to Tony! There was an instant connection when we met Tony and Shirlee 23 years ago! And, even though we don’t see each other often, when we do, it’s like we begin where we left off.
    So happy you guys are spending his birthday together today. Makin memories and feelin the love!
    You always inspire me, Bren. And Steve too!
    We love you dearly.
    Nay and Nev

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