Jo and Randy Partipilo were marred 50 years ago at Dillon Falls. With the bottle of champagne, they celebrated their wedding day and began an annual tradition of adding memories on their anniversary.
“We each put a note in the bottle every year, and capped it and buried it. Then we’d come back and put in new memories in every year,” Husband and father Randy Partipilo said.
The bottle was buried underneath a tree near where the couple got married. It wasn’t until this last Easter weekend the family discovered that the bottle — which had been buried at the same place every year for more than 49 years — had vanished.
“On our 50th, we brought our family back which includes three daughters, three son-in-laws, nine grandchildren. I went down to pull the bottle out from where it’s been for 50 years, and it wasn’t there,” Randy said.
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It was also the first time the Partipilos showed their family the location of the bottle — a keepsake their daughters had heard about their entire lives.
“We knew that they did it every year. We had heard about it. And with it being their 50th wedding anniversary, they just wanted to share that with us and they wanted us to know where it was in case something happened to them some day,” daughter Jessica Ruhl said.
The Partipilos have a couple theories of what could have happened to the bottle.
“Mother nature I guess took it away. Erosion,” Randy said.
“We’re hoping that maybe someone has seen it the last few months. maybe took it home. Saw there were notes, but there was no information they had to get back to us,” Jo said.
The Partipilos say they are thinking about replacing the bottle and starting the tradition over, hoping they can get another 25 years out of it. They also say they’re thinking about changing the location from where the previous bottle was.