I believe everyone has a story and it should be told. I haven’t shared this on my blog yet because the experience was so personal and I just couldn’t put it into words. Here is the article I wrote along with a few images that were published in Hearth Magazine, Volume 1:
“I fell in love with Cold Spring, New York the moment I drove into this small quaint town on the Hudson River. The tree-lined main street is sprinkled with red and white flags and contains the most amazing antique shops I’ve ever seen. They have anything and everything you could ever think you want and more. It would take days to go through the trinkets and treasures, but the best part of this town is not what you’ll find but the people that you’ll meet.
It was a beautiful April day and the morning started off like any other Saturday road trip. I thought I’d start at the bottom of main street and work my way up to see what I could find, after all you have to pace yourself, right?
I was walking by one of the shops and I saw this man out straightening the artwork he had displayed in front of his store and something told me ‘you need to go in and talk to him’. Little did I know, I was about to hear a beautiful story of a man who loved his wife and the antiques she collected.
Paul De Rienzo is one of those people that you hope you meet in life. He’s a great storyteller with a gentle spirit and has an infectious smile. I could have listened to him for hours.”
“… He has been the owner of Nelsonville Antiques for more than 20 years.
He told me of how he married his wife Gizella in 1955 and moved to Yonkers, NY, of how they had three children in two years and about his travels around the world as a nuclear engineer. As he pointed to everything from jewelry to furniture and the artwork on the wall, he told the story.
‘She was the collector,’ Paul said. ‘This is all her, Gizella was a lover of pretty things, of unique pieces that told a story.’
“She would often accompany him on trips. On a trip to Egypt, instead of going back to the hotel after a long day of work, he went to find his wife at one of the shops. He knew should would be there; she always was. He found her with a pieces of silver laid out across the counter talking prices with the shop owner.
‘She was asking the owner, can you do any better? That is a sign of a good collector,’ Paul said…”
“They eventually opened Nelsonville Antiques, their very own shop where Gizella would sell her treasures. This was just one of the memories he shared about his wife that day, Gizella passed away in 2009, but he still continues to drive to Cold Spring to work in the shop that they built together and to share the pieces she collected.
He does this for her, his love.
What started off as a typical Saturday day trip ended up being anything but ordinary. You never know whom you will meet and the stories you’ll hear when you let yourself.”
When I think of Paul and his love story I can’t help buy well up with tears. Even to this day, almost a year later, I’m still moved. You never know who you’re going to meet. You never know how it can change someone. Life is about living and loving.
Paul De Rienzo is the owner of Nelsonville Antiques and has been a part of the community since 1990 when he and his wife Gizella opened the store. Nelsonville Antiques is located at 81 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516.