Happy 80th Birthday Daddy!

Happy 80th Birthday Daddy!  When my siblings and I decided it would be a good idea to “throw-down” for our Dad’s 80th birthday, what we meant was a lunch, or a brunch, or even a cocktail party!  For his 70th, we had an elegant catered dinner as a surprise.  It turned out the surprise was on us! He had just returned from a week long ski trip in Colorado or Utah, I can’t remember now, but that is not the point!  The point is, he returned sick, sick sick!  We finally talked him into going to a doctor and lo and behold it turned out he had walking pneumonia!  Poor guy, finally forced to dress up, come out, greet his guests, before going home to sleep for a week.

So this time, even though he has since given up snow skiing, and backpacking, and marathons, and glacier climbing, and is retired, we decided – no surprise.  He can’t hear very well in big crowds and at a recent seated dinner we all noticed how he sat and nodded and grinned, but clearly was not catching any of the conversations.  So I spoke with him about all of this.  He loved the idea of a cocktail party, not too many people, at my home.  Whew, that was easy!  Or so I thought!  We discuss possible dates: no it can’t be the weekend before because or so-and-so, no it can’t be the weekend after because of such-and-such, no it can’t be midweek because people still work and many will be coming from other states.  When it seemed we had a Saturday night lined up, Dad says, no, he has to shoot that day! (Did I mention he still shoots in Glock competitions?) He says he will be too tired.  An here I am thinking he should skip that match and show up for his party but what do I know.  SOOOOO, we adjust to Sunday.  Now Dad says it should start at 2:00 p.m., because he can’t stay up too late anymore.  Really?  A cocktail party at 2:00 in the afternoon?  What is this, the Early Bird Cocktail Special? We finally settle on 4-7 p.m.   Invitations are printed and sent, along with a “Most Memorable Marty Moment” card enclosed.  This way, even those who can’t be here, can send in the card for display on the huge fabric covered, framed, magnet board we made, by hand, for him to see.  And had the cards cut to fit in a handsome leather bound album we will compile for him to keep. We lobbed ideas back and forth with the caterers (love them!) until a menu was decided.  We spent many hours contemplating how the cake should be with an extremely talented cake designer.  It’s got a backpack, snow skis, Peachtree Road Race emblem, softball and bat, a gavel and a glock gun!  We even got a photo of us four kids with him on that fateful 70th!  All edible!  It turned out FABU! Here’s a picture!

Daddy 80th Birthday Cake

Daddy 80th Birthday Cake

Anyways, then we realized we had quite an out of town crowd, so I went over to the hotel I’d recommended and had a meet and greet with the front desk manager.  Very nice!  She let me pre-checked in some family with little ones who needed to have adjoining rooms.  Lovely ! We organized a Saturday night mexican fiesta in a private room, ’cause Mama didn’t raise no fools, and when Dad starts to realize what is going on, he suggest we have a diner, out, for our guests.  I had to explain that we already HAD a dinner planned but to remember that he couldn’t do Saturday night because he would be to tired.  So, he skips his shooting match, takes his brother out to lunch, and shows up for the fiesta.  Lord knows I love the man, but seriously, why couldn’t we just have had the shindig on Saturday night?  I guess at 80, he can do what he wants!

The photo board from his 70th needed gussying up and more photos were contributed to make it truly a walk down memory lane for Dad!  Oh!  And in keeping with his 70th, we wrote lyrics, this time to Gillians Isle, and with my brother on guitar, sang them for him and the crowd.  Happy 80th Daddy!  I love you!

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