Meet Gwilly, he’s only 95


G 94 birthday

Gwilly celebrating his 94th in style







Sally Rubinger SF's G'mother

If you visit Gwilly at his bungalow where he’s lived for fifty years, he’ll introduce you to Maria, his wife of 66 years. Shes a very special woman, sharp as a tack, politically savvy and a beautifully spiritual being.


DSC 9001 - Version 2

If you visit Gwilly, hell probably offer you an espresso.





2014-01-11 at 16-10-08

If you visit Gwilly, he’ll be most proud to show you his root cellar where he preserves the fruits and vegetables that he lovingly grows in his garden.




2014-01-11 at 16-05-00


If you visit Gwilly, he’ll also show you his wine cellar where he’s been making fine wine for years and years. Maybe you’ll even be treated to a tasting session. His guests, upon leaving his home, usually depart with one or two bottles of his best vintage.

20130704 180236

If you visit Gwilly in the summer, you surely won’t miss his exquisitely tended flower garden. *




20130621 175355

…lest we forget his formidable vegetable patch. *

G zucchini

Gwilly’s green thumb is obvious, especially when he shows you his latest crop of giant zucchinis.   *

2014-01-11 at 18-51-07

Gwilly's an excellent bean grower; and he turns his crop over to his wife Maria, who is super creative in the kitchen, to produce the most exquisite and tasty pasta fagioli. If dining with them, Gwilly, the perfect host, will be pleased to serve you.




Gwilly is deeply in love with Maria. He often will sing a love song to her. Click below for a command performance.



   More About Gwilly


I suspect by now you’ve come to know that Gwilly is a young man for all his years. Here’s some more information about Gwilly and his life: his full name is Guerino Tirimacco, born 1919 in Italy. As a teenager, he was conscripted into the King’s Army and served in North Africa. He was taken prisoner by the British without much resistance (Gwilly probably heard how well the British treated POWs - Gwilly was a lover, not a fighter). He was subsequently interred on a farm in Britain where he became the owner’s star farmer and “jack-of-all-trades.” He even played on the POW soccer team and competed with local British teams.


As you probably know, most WW II veterans have a war story, or two. Here’s Gwilly’s: when boarding a troop ship in Napoli to transport soldiers to the North Africa front line, a group of nuns were standing at the gangway of the ship handing out St. Anthony prayer cards to each soldier for “heavenly protection.” Gwilly put his card in his wallet and tucked it into the pocket of his uniform jacket.


At the front line, while under enemy fire, he and the rest of his soldier buddies were hunkered down in fox-holes. When the head corporal issued an order for one of his men to scoot to another group, half a kilometer away, to secure a shovel to dig for better protection, Gwilly volunteered. In order to scramble across the desert sand more quickly, he took off his jacket and left it in his fox-hole.


Upon returning with the shovel, he saw that several grenades had exploded right where he and his buddies were hunkered down. Sadly, addition to some human casualties, his jacket was largely destroyed by the blasts. Miraculously, the pocket where he had been carrying the prayer card was not damaged.

Sally Rubinger SF's G'mother (2)

Although worn thin and tattered, Gwilly still carries his St. Anthony prayer card in his wallet. If you visit Gwilly, he’ll show it to you.



He, Maria and baby daughter Susan emigrated to Canada in 1954 on the SS Constitution (which later sank in 1955). In his working years, Gwilly was a factory and construction worker, house painter and worked at any and everything that would provide food and shelter for Maria and daughter Susan.


In his retirement years, Gwilly volunteered his services and good cheer at the Villa Colombo Senior and Long Term Care Facility, close by his home. A committed music lover, then and now, he still tears up when he listens to Pavarotti and Bocelli.


During this time, while tending his garden, he made friends with a most interesting individual, Frizzi…who happened to be a squirrel. Most every summer afternoon, Frizzi would come to visit – to be fed a few peanuts and shoot the breeze.





now, in his golden years,  he’s still is  a party animal!


Gwilly and Maria at their 60th anniversary party 

EPSON DSC picture

 Gwilly on the writer’s Harley





Hamming it up for the camera




 DSF9380 - Version 2

At his 90th birthday party, checking out a “super cane” gag-gift from his niece, Anna, complete with a magnifying glass, pill case, horn and an “over-the-hill” crossing sign.

Sally Rubinger SF's G'mother - Version 2

Larry and Gwilly

 DSC5481 - Version 2


Hey Gwilly, I want to be like you when I grow up! 

 Wouldn’t you want to be like Gwilly when you grow up?






© Larry Frank words and images (except where noted *).



© Larry Frank Photographics ~ a Sandvox site