Mom's 50th

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With the help of her friends and family, I was able to give this special booklet of memories to my mom for her 50th birthday. Thank you to all who contributed! Enjoy!


<p>A Compilation of Memories </p> <p>For Randee, th April 4 , 2013</p> <p>The Mother.It took me a little bit of time to decide what I was going to get my mom for her birthday. She wanted a GoPro video camera, of course, which was $400, a bit out of my price range. I considered a few other things, a few days of juice cleansing, a new piece of jewelry, some camera equipment. But they all seemed so typical, and if anyone knows my mom, its a known fact that she is anything but typical. I then got to thinking about all the different chapters of her life, most of which Ive only heard in stories because I was either non-existent or too young to remember. My mom has done so many things, in so many places, with so many people, and from what I know about her, theres no doubt shes touched the lives of each and everyone of those individuals. So, I decided to contact them. I wanted to hear their favorite things about my mom. What their favorite memories with her are, why she is such an important woman in their lives. I thought I would get a few responses, from the people who know me and who have had recent interactions with my mom. Little did I know that just minutes after pressing send, my inbox would be flooded with tons of stories and reasons why my mom made an impact on so many different lives, many by people Ive never met, even more by people Ive never heard of. This book is a compilation of reminiscences, but above all, a way to send love and appreciation to my mom, a truly remarkable woman who will forever remain infamous for her obsession with Billy Joel and wearing her childrens underwear on her head. For me, to choose one memory is nearly impossible. Shes made me mad, and upset, and happy, and annoyed, and proud, and excited, and so many other things, but I dont think anyone makes me laugh the way my mom does. I think back to the times she used to drive me to school, stopping at every stop sign so perfectly, refusing to drive again until the sign told her to go. Or when she runs around the house (I cant even say used to because even at her old age she still does it) with salami and other food products resembling the male anatomy between her legs. Shes inappropriate and rash, but overall loving and caring, even though shell do anything to avoid showing it. I love you with all my heart mom, and hope you look at this birthday as a way to be proud of all you are and all youve accomplished. You know on the inside Im saying every curse word youve ever taught me, but to write them down wouldnt be kosher. You da best. Love, Kaitlin </p> <p>1.Allison Glenn Fine: Your mom and I were best friends when we started kindergarten. My best memory of Randee is that she and I went to the bathroom together and we started playing house in the bathroom...we got in a bit of trouble because we were gone for so long, and were not allowed to go to the bathroom together again . But we were the best of friends in school until I moved to California when we were 9! </p> <p>2.Liza Coppola: Your mom is the bravest photographer to shoot on manual. We had so much fun stalking Tom Cruise, Josh Duhamel, and Adam Brody in Greenport when they were here to film The Romantics. One day we landed Adam Brody in Starbucks and set him up for a shot. Mom is fun and adventurous and someone I would like to spend more time with. To Randee, 50 aint nuthin! Its all about attitude (and what you are wearing!) Love, Liza.</p> <p>3.Andrea Pickerell: We had a get-together at our house New Year's Eve and your mom was saying how she was bummed because she had to work the next day and did I want to go with her. I hesitated at first because we'd have to leave early the next day and I'm so not a morning person! But when I found out we'd be going to Morton Wildlife Refuge over in Noyac, I didnt need much convincing. Its one of my favorite places ever...So anyway, we leave the next day around 8 am, it's freezing, and we're the only ones on the ferry, but of course being with Randee made it a fun and wacky adventure, and Im pretty sure we Instagrammed everything along the way! We got to Morton and it was just amazing, especially since your mom had never been there. She was like a little kid in awe of all the birds and the fact that you could feed them from your hand. We spent over four hours walking around, exploring, and feeding the birds, and it was truly a magical day. </p> <p>4.</p> <p>Diana Divello: First I can't believe your Mom is turning 50, and second, every time I have been in your moms company has been a special memory. So I will share two... As you remember I was your familys real estate agent and I sold your parents the house you live in now. When I first met your mom her criteria for the house was "I want new, I want Victorian, and after we looked at about 20 houses and, mind you most of the time you kids were with us, we walked into your house now which is a 1958 cape cod style, your Mom just stopped and said I love this house I have to buy this house! And she did! So the next time we went your Grandma came to look at it so she could have time inside alone with Grandma she let me take you kids outside and do flips and handsprings on the lawn. (Not at all the way a real estate agent should behave lol). But I knew she trusted me with you guys and what a great decision she made in choosing your home. My second was when she gave me the honor of photographing my wedding. She is just one of the most loveable, fun people I know and I am so happy that my cousin Mario introduced me to both your Mom and Dad. I know this is long but use it as you wish. She is very lucky to have such a beautiful, thoughtful daughter. XOX Diana. P.S. Please give her a big happy birthday hug and kiss for me! </p> <p>5.Rose Mazzei Anasagasti: I just remember the first time I really got to know your mom was during all of those grueling talent show practice sessions where Gina and Julia were putting on a jump rope performance with some other girls. And then I found out you guys are my friend JoAnn's neighbors. I remember once your mom across the road looking at us like we were nuts. It was January and we were in the garden! She was like, "What are you doing?" We were picking arugula in January!!! One of the mildest winters we ever had. </p> <p>6.</p> <p>Kristina Ruth Foster: I know your mom because she is my school's photographer. My best memory of her is how she gets even the shyest of 3 and 4 year olds to smile by making crazy sounds and silly faces. </p> <p>7.</p> <p>Matthew Daddona: There are innumerable memories, but one that I go back to frequently is when you accompanied our class (4th grade? 5th?) to a performance of The Lion King on Broadway. It was not so much the details of this trip that stuck out, but a small purchase you made for me during intermission. While all of the other kids were browsing t-shirts, mugs, and towels, you bought for me a leather-bound journal with a Lion King insignia etched on the front. I wouldnt use this journal for years because I was afraid of ruining it (back then leather meant something posh), but in middle school I finally decided to use the journal for its intended purpose; my first entry was about this trip and how such a small buy signified how much you believe in what I enjoy. In short, Im grateful for you always having listened, questioned, and provoked artistic discussion. And Im grateful for this and every memory. </p> <p>8.Lori Post Katz: I remember your mom listening to Billy Joel 24/7. </p> <p>9.Karen Fay Matthews: We spent many nights sitting on a smelly couch in some music studio while listening to our boyfriends (future husbands) playing in their band. We went to their shows, gave our thumbs up and listened to them endlessly. My most favorite memory of your mom is the photo she sent to me of you as a baby with Matthew. I still have it; it was and still is the most beautiful picture of a brother and baby sister together. Love it! </p> <p>10.Erin Schultz: 1. Surviving the Suffolk Times and Denise Civiletti: "I need you to be an ambassador of good will! Invading an editorial meeting with high school job shadow kids; Stalking Tom Cruise; Escaping the office with lunch and wine. 2. The road trip up-Island to Lenny's gig 3. The crazy doctor situation! 4. Adventures with North Fork Patch: Meeting Peter Tork; sailing with the sailing snobs; Clamming with Charlie; Christmas tree hunting. 5. Thanksgiving craziness with the Daddonas! -Randee, thanks for making my introduction to the madness of local journalism not only tolerable but also hilarious. We packed a ton of laughs into such a short period of time-hope to have a ton more. Happy 50th!</p> <p>11.</p> <p>Valerie Tirelli Hallock: I remember the evil chicks Randee got for you guysand her almost burning the house down and causing chick-o-side by placing a heat lamp in with them in a PLASTIC BUCKET in the garage. Thankfully all the chicks and house were saved. I also remember her making you (Kaitlin) always clean the chicken coop. There was this one really evil, nasty rooster that would try to attack everyone. He would chase me to my car and your mom would crack up. Until one day she was in my passenger seat and the thing was stalking her and wouldnt let her out. She had to climb out the drivers side and we ran screaming into the house. That little effer stood by the front step staring us down through the dining room window. I can remember waiting inside the front door when I had to leave because evil rooster was waiting there to eat me. She would come out of the house and scream at it so it ran away, but the minute it saw me going to my car it would beeline back. And the best photo ever of my three kids was taken by Randee. It was when they were all young and innocent. (Except for Matty, he was just young lol). Happy 50th Randee!!! </p> <p>12.Olivia Daddona: My favorite memory with mom was when we were all in the car in North Carolina and it was at a drive-thru zoo. Mom spilled the container of food on me and made the huge creepy animals eat it from my body while we were in the car. </p> <p>13.Julia Daddona: One of my best memories of mom was when our whole family went on the duck boat in Philadelphia. We had those whistle duck beaks and it was really funny and we were all cracking up. There are definitely a lot more funny memories and all of them are when mom is having a lot of fun and laughing with her friends and family. </p> <p>14.Carol Szynaka: I have many fond memories of Randee. I live on Calves Neck Road because of her. I was listing the property next door and Randee kept saying this would be a good property for my family and me. I think she convinced me and we bought the house. We thought the Daddonas would be good neighbors and we were right. Real Estate is a demanding business and doesn't allow for much time to make plans especially around the summer holidays. Randee has always graciously invited us over for BBQs and shared her family, friends, and food with us. Recently my husband Mark was hit by a car and Randee came right over and offered to take Sean the following day when he came off the school bus. I was exhausted and it was a big relief knowing Sean was in good hands. A talented photographer, Randee has helped me in my real estate business photographing houses, and gave me a lovely birthday gift of three seashell photographs that I have hanging in my bedroom. When I think of Randee I think of a good friend who is talented, stylish, and can always make me laugh, the best way to describe her is a good friend. Happy Birthday Randee!</p> <p>15.Jean Vecchione-Palladino: So, I remember your mom from when she was dating your father. Your dad is my husbands first cuz! Anyway, I always liked your mother because she always called it the way she saw it...very honest and funny! Mom was perfect for Lenny! I realized she never changed after not speaking with her for many years because life gets in the way and when I saw her she was the same honest, warm, and funny as always! Happy 50th Randee!</p> <p>16.Wendy Gullish: Your grandmother Starl had a name for your Mom. It was MaryMargaret. All Starl's children were and are beautiful, but Randee had a wispy innocence about her. Jill was always screaming and hanging on the legs of a father figure she came across no matter where we were and who he was. Lori always very much her own person. She was independent and feisty. But the angelic Randee, otherwise known as MM (Mary-Margaret) one never really knew what she wished for until she attained it. Many years have gone by since I have seen the now turning 50 year old Randee. I ask myself how can that be? Just a flash of time and five children of her own, happily married to her Lenny and a professional photographer. Wow, Randee!! Maybe not a funny story, but simply amazing that so pure and innocent a child, always knew what she wanted in life, and now, proudly has it all, and really not so innocent. I mean that in a good way of course. Happy Birthday MM.</p> <p>17.</p> <p>Samantha Jeffrey: I would like to say my favorite memory of your mother is this one: See the curtains hangin in the window, in the evenin on a Friday night. A little light a-shinin through the window, lets me know everthing is alright. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, GOING DOWN HIGHWAY 955555555 Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, GOING DOWN HIGHWAY 955555555 See the paper layin on the sidewalk, a little music from the house next door. So I walked on up to the doorstep, through the screen and across the floor. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, GOING DOWN HIGHWAY 955555555 Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, GOING DOWN HIGHWAY 955555555 Sweet days of summer, the jasmine's in bloom. July is dressed up and playing her tune. And I come home from a hard day's work, and you're waiting there, not a care in the world. See the smile a-waitin' in the kitchen, food cookin' and the plates for two. Feel the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through. Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, GOING DOWN HIGHWAY 955555555 Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, GOING DOWN HIGHWAY 955555555. </p> <p>18.Michael Daddona: My favorite memory with mom was when me, Julia, Olivia, and Kait were trying to hug her and she chased us hitting us with all different things and she beat me down to the floor with a shirt. </p> <p>19.Heather Cusack: many memories; I love your Mom, she is so talented and always has an amazing sense of humor; She made me and Desi so welcome in your home; like family, at a time when I truly needed that; and when ever I see her she is making the news with her talent/camera/all that and the mom to 5 lovely people! Happy Birthday, Randee; welcome to my decade; and heres to another 50! </p> <p>20.</p> <p>Andrea Nahmias-Kravitz: I met your mom back in 1979. We were 16 years old. Unfortunately we met after our 16th birthdays so we weren't at each other's Sweet 16s. We were leaving Lawrence HS at the end of the day and I happened to notice this girl wearing a Billy Joel concert shirt. Since we were both rabid Billy fans I approach...</p>