The Legend That Is Bo Colello

One year ago today, July 1st 2019, the world lost a legend. That legend is Bo Colello. Before I share about Bo, I asked his wife, Dawn and daughter Keri if it would be ok to write something about him.

Keri’s response was, “My dad used to say,  I do not care what you say about me as long as you mention my name.”

This is a perfect “Bo-ism.” One of the funniest, sweetest, kindest, loving men you will ever meet. My family had the pleasure of meeting the Colello’s in 1977. I was 7 years old and in first grade with their oldest son Bill (Billy, as I know him).

Bo Colello’s Produce
Pike Place Market, Seattle Washington

Bo had a produce stand at Pike Place Market in Seattle for many years. I remember as a kid my dad would take us downtown Seattle. We would watch Bo hard at work. I know it was hard work, but he never made it seem that way. He was always laughing, cracking jokes, talking to everyone and entertaining. I cannot remember if the “fish throwing” was on the scene at that time. Most Americans will understand this. If not, I suggest you google it. I know that draws a crowd further down the market. However, I do remember Bo drawing a crowd. He did not have to throw fish to do so. He was Bo and that is all anyone needed.

Bo was my dad’s best friend. They were brothers from another mother. They coached our soccer teams. They were President and Vice President of the club. Although if you asked each of them, they would say of each other, “He never did a damn thing.” They trash talked each other. Just like siblings.

My dads last birthday – April 17, 2018

Years later Bo moved his produce stand just outside his home. My dad was retired so obviously what do you do? You work for Bo Colello. They sold fruit and vegetables. They sold pumpkins during Halloween and Christmas trees during Christmas. I always said people did not come for the fruit and veg; they came to watch the Bo and Larry show. Which I guess you could say was watching “fruit.”

My parents spent holidays with the Collelo’s. It was always Bo and Dawn and Larry and Sally. They took day trips and vacations together, with many mishaps, obviously. These trips were always followed up with a telephone call from my mom. She would message me and say, “I have another Bo story” or “We went away with the Bo Bo’s and boy do I have some stories for you.”

I would call right away. Why? Because I just knew it was going to be an epic story. I was never disappointed. My mom and Bo always laughed about poop. They had the potty humor while my dad and Dawn were horrified. That made it even more hilarious.

Bo and Dawn Colello

Bo loved his wife Dawn and his children, Bill, Michael, Keri, Yohannes and of course all of his grandchildren. They were his life. His purpose. Nevertheless, it was not just them that he loved. Bo and Dawn’s home was exactly like my parents’ home. Full! Full of kids. Full of adults. Full of laughter. Full of love. Thankfully, they lived just around the corner from us for all of those years.

It is hard to put into words what this man means to me and to my family. It is not just him. My mom and Dawn were best friends too. They supported each other when their children were little and all through the years, especially during the loss of their beloved husbands. There are stories of Dawn calling my mom in the middle of the night because one of the kids threw up. Dawn does not “do puke.” My mom would jump in her car, drive over to their house and clean the puke. This is one of my favorite stories.

I have so many memories of the Colello’s as a child and as an adult. I could not possibly write them all down. I will skip ahead.

My mom would talk to Dawn every day, sometimes several times a day. When I was in Seattle caring for my dad. I would hear her laughing on the phone and I knew who was on the other end of that telephone. Even if she was outside with the door closed, I could hear her laughing over the airplanes. If you have been to my parents’ home, you understand the magnitude of this. It would inevitably end with my mom running past me to go to the bathroom before she peed herself. This is no exaggeration.

My mom and I (and my dad) relied heavily on Bo and Dawn when my dad was sick. My mom would say, “Let’s call the Bo Bo’s.”

They were with us every single day. Even though Bo was battling cancer himself, he was still well enough and mobile, obviously enjoying his life to the fullest. I remember sitting in between Bo and my dad. Their conversations were amazing, yet so confusing. I had no idea what they were talking about but they seemed to understand each other with very little words. Mostly hand gestures (I will let you figure that out).

Bo would say, “What kind of cancer do you have again Larry?” My dad, “It’s in my head.” Bo, “Oh that doesn’t sound good. I have it in my lungs.”

As I said, Bo was the funniest man. He was also the sweetest. He used to say to me, “You’re looking sharp Lisa.” He used to say that to my dad and others too. However, I would always laugh and say, “You too Bo.”

Mostly I would hear Bo say something and Dawn’s response was typically, “Inappropriate Bo!” Then laughter ensued. The life of the party! My husband, myself and my daughters will share stories and this saying always comes up. Bo was hilarious but Dawn is even more so and together, they were perfect. Pure comedy gold. Pure love. They would sit on the couch and hold each other’s hands. My mom and dad did this too. I will never forget this.

I have spoken to Keri a lot over the past two years. She talks about seeing her mom and dad dancing in the kitchen growing up. I remember the same with my parents.

I could say so many things about Bo. I adore him. I miss him. I know I live in the UK and did not see them as much, but my love is deep.

I will never forget when my dad was on his deathbed, asleep. It was Bo’s last time seeing him and as he left, he said, “See you later buddy.” We all lost it.

Bo was surrounded by his family when he left this earth on July 1st 2019, almost exactly one year after my dad. A few months later, my mom joined them. No doubt, they are having a blast and laughing. No doubt Bo and my mom are talking about poop while my dad rolls his eyes and shakes his head. It is those left behind that suffer with heartbreak.

After my mom died suddenly in September 2019, I had to make that call to Dawn. It was horrendous. Knowing she lost my dad, then the love of her life, and now my mom within 14 months. It is just too much.

When the girls and I were in Seattle after my mom died, I stayed with Dawn for those three weeks. We laughed, we cried, sometimes at the same time. She was my safe place and still is. I know why my parents were best friends with Bo and Dawn. Best friends for life and afterlife.

Until we meet again Bo. I love and miss you.


2 thoughts on “The Legend That Is Bo Colello”

  1. Lisa,my dear, couldn’t get through this without you. So well said. You described our families friendship perfectly. I miss my Bo, and my Larry and Sally. Your parents were there for us in every way and always. Our friendship was truly a loving and laughing blind leading the blind adventure! I smile at my memories and will always be grateful for our lives intertwined. You and Clint and the girls are the BEST. “YOU SHINE”

Comments are closed.