happy birthday grandpa

This week is always a busy one with my family.  My brother, Grandfather and I all have birthdays four days apart.  Needless to say, it’s one birthday dinner after another (stemming back from my brother and I getting equal celebrations as kids – nice job Mom!) and by the end of the week we’re all exhausted and usually need a little Portale family break from each other after all the festivities.

Every year my Grandfather comes down from Buffalo to celebrate with us.  I honestly can’t remember a birthday without my Grandfather here because it’s almost like our birthdays are one.  We never had the down the street relationship because he lived a bit away my whole life, but we’re alike in a lot of ways and there is always an unspoken respect between us.  We find the same things funny, we’re both incredibly stubborn, and we both really like the ladies…  oh, wait.  That’s my brother and him.  Apparently all Tauruses have a lot in common.

My Grandfather is a spitfire, as they say.  He still drives, still lives on his own, still likes a Manhattan on the rocks, and can drop a charming line on a lady quicker than you can blink.  When I go to a restaurant he’s been to once (mind you he lives in Buffalo) the waiters, owner and even the cook will ask me how he is.  He’s just that kind of guy.

He’s 96 today.  You would think he was a lot younger if you met him in person – but I think these few images give you an idea too.

Love you Grandpa.  Happy Birthday Russell Sebastian Portale!

I should add, I don’t think he was thrilled with me taking his picture.  But being the good sport he is, he went along for the ride!


This is the dapper man that all the ladies love!  Seriously, who can blame them??


  • http://www.rainkitephotography.com kim casey

    love, love, love these images of your grandfather. what a treasure!

  • Christine DeSavino


  • http://www.studiopham.com Timothy Pham

    SOOOO much character in these images. Happy Birthday paw paw =)

  • kimbrali

    oh coco. these might my heart swell up. my grandpa was my favorite person on the planet.
    your is quite suave. i can totally see where you get your style from lady.

  • http://www.bellinipics.com/blog Stephanie

    OMG, Cristina, those are so amazing. What a handsome guy!! Happy Birthday Grandpa!

  • http://ashleyminton.com ashley

    I LOVE LOVE these! Great shots! He is so cute!

  • Kim Haywood

    great photos, I feel the same way about my grandfather…love in particular the black and white one! Wonderful shots!

  • Berty Reid

    Love your Grandfather! He is amazing and fascinating and also UNIQUE!Great pictures!

  • http://www.laurahaleyphotography.com Haley Lancaster

    loving these personal posts. he seems like a very special man :) happy birthday!

  • Michele

    96? Wow. You hit the jackpot in the gene dept :) Precious pics. The family will treasure these forever!

  • http://www.jamiekutter.com/blog Jamie Kutter

    precious and perfect! LOVE!!!!

  • lane

    oh my word is he ever cute! i love these!