When Paul and Charlene DiPlatzi have a major wedding anniversary, itâ€™s the kind of affair that makes headlines.
Today, Wednesday, June 30, they will celebrate 20 years together.
The Sherman Street coupleâ€™s headline connection with the Revere Journal goes back to the very beginning when DiPlatzi proposed to his wife in an advertisement on page 10 of the Journal.
â€œI didnâ€™t know what she was thinking,â€ said Paul, who works for the U.S. Postal Service. â€œI didnâ€™t know if she would say â€˜Yesâ€™ or not, but I wanted to give it a try. I wanted to do something different and I wanted everybody to know.â€
So, DiPlatzi put himself on the line.
He placed the Journal ad in the Nov. 2, 1989 edition and then took his future bride, at the time Charlene Ferragamo, out to dinner at the former August Moon restaurant on Broadway.
While they were eating, he got up and told her he wanted to go get a copy of the paper.
â€œI was going through the pages and I said, â€˜Look at that,â€™ and pointed to a story next to my ad,â€ said DiPlatzi. â€œShe looked at the article and next to it was the ad. She just looked at the paper for a few seconds and then started crying. Peter Woo was there and I believe he gave us a little cake with a candle.â€
The answer was, without a doubt, â€˜Yes.â€™ Several months later, on June 30, 1990, they were married.
Now, 20 years later DiPlatzi and his wife have four children – Gianna, Alexis, Victoria and Paul Jr.
From running to softball and football games, to balancing work and home life, DiPlatzi said he and Charlene were a good fit and the risky advertisement paid off tremendously.
â€œWhen I took out the original ad, I was hoping to do this type of story 20 years later,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™ve worked well together and with the children. Sheâ€™s a good mother. She always gives 110 percent to the kids and to me.â€
DiPlatzi said that the two had met in the Revere Housing Authority development off of Broadway.
He lived on Constitution Avenue.
She lived on Cooledge Street.
He was a few years older than her, but they had been acquainted through Charleneâ€™s sister.
â€œIt was more of a situation where I was like a big brother at first,â€ he said. â€œI told her if she needed any help to let me know and then a few years later it rolled into something more.â€
That â€œsomething moreâ€ has led to a very successful marriage that DiPlatzi said he is proud of because it has meant a lot of work and a lot of learning.
â€œIâ€™ve always been one to say it like it is and Iâ€™m very proud of my marriage,â€ he said. â€œYou donâ€™t see many people going 20 years these days. You have to be really dedicated and you have to work well together. You also have to learn to agree and sometimes not to agree. Swallow all your pride and remember that family is the most important thing there is and a marriage is at the center of it. It is what you make of it.â€
In addition to the original advertisement and a story that followed the ad, the DiPlatziâ€™s were featured in the Journal on their 10th Anniversary when they renewed their vows at St. Anthonyâ€™s Church.
That story was also a bit of a surprise for Charlene.
This time around, DiPlatzi said, his wife might be expecting another newspaper story.
â€œThis article is also supposed to be kind of a surprise,â€ he said. â€œShe might be expecting something this time, but who knows?â€