Dominick works as a chef at the Round House Cafe, and we have become friends, I am fond of him and admire him. He has not had the simplest life, but Scott Carrino has mentored him and they have worked together for years. I met him while he was helping with the maple sugaring at Pompanuck Farm.
I see him all the time at the Round House, he is a whiz at cooking and pizza-making.
Dom seems to be thriving at the cafe, and he often tortures me on the phone when he can, claiming to be the owner of a Chinese or other ethic restaurant when I call.
He has tricked more than once, and I have retaliated by pretending to be an angry or hearing-impaired old grouch when I call. I've gotten him once or twice too.
We just click with one another, and he is one of my favorite portrait subjects. Dom has a great sense of humor and an expressive face.
In New Mexico – we were there during the Days Of The Dead celebrations – I got a couple of painted and decorated "skull" candles. One of the just cried out "bring me to Dom!", so I bought it and brought it home and finally remembered to give it to him today.
I've given Dom a number of birthday presents – books and gift certificates to Battenkill Books mostly – but I never got the sense he had read any of them, so I thought the candle might work.
He was delighted, it was the perfect gift for him. He loved it without even knowing about the Days Of The Dead.