“DIAMOND BOB” MATHIA dresses the part to celebrate daughter Shelly Kastenschmidt’s 50th birthday last week.								  Tim Lyke photo
“DIAMOND BOB” MATHIA dresses the part to celebrate daughter Shelly Kastenschmidt’s 50th birthday last week. Tim Lyke photo

     KNOWING HER 50TH birthday was fast approaching, Shelly Kastenschmidt of Diedrich Jewelers had one request of her sister, Ann Belau.

     “You know,” Kastenschmidt said, “we don’t need to make this public. Let’s take [the celebration] away from the store.”

     That’s all you need to know to understand why last Friday afternoon the girls’ 82-year-old father, Bob Mathia, was dancing in front of the store in a diamond costume, holding a sign encouraging passing motorists to honk in honor of his third daughter’s half-century mark.

     Next to him was a walker to which Diedrich staff had tied strings attached to giant, golden helium-filled numbers, “5” and “0.”

     The only way the 5-carat celebration could have been more public is had Mathia, beneath the costume, worn nothing but his birthday suit.

     (By the way, Birthday Bob turns 83 in December.)

     Kastenschmidt had arrived late to work Friday afternoon as she had to take her son to a doctor’s appointment.

     Turning onto Watson Street from East Fond du Lac Street, she was taken aback when the car in front of her stopped to take photos of the front of the store where the Mathia clan have been involved for 62 of its 96 years.

     Then, she spotted some goofball dressed with a T-shirt, sweatpants, a giant blue diamond with matching blue gloves and a telltale clue.

     “The shoes,” Shelly laughed. “They could only be my dad’s shoes.”

     Inside, Belau and sister Laura Chipman were giggling as they watched their dad outside dancing on the sidewalk as he waved his sign reading, 

Honk
Shelly’s
50
today ...


     To read the entire column, see the Oct. 17, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.