Today in My History
2001:The Mosquito has Landed
2002: Butt, Butt
2003: Don't Teach the Children
2004: Oh Captain, My Captain
2005: Obviously, I Need a Better System
2006: Speaking in Tongues
2007: Look Alikes
2008: Oh, I'm in such trouble
2009: Taking it for a Test Drive
Books Read in 2010
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
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"HERB'S 100 NOW"
23 January 2010
When Walt and I got home around 4:30 this afternoon, with just about 20 minutes to whip up an hors d'oeuvre, feed the dogs (and try not to confuse the two), change clothes and rush back to the Art Center, I told him I didn't remember working so hard for someone I didn't know before!
Dr. Herbert Bauer turns 100 tomorrow and I've been working on the committee to pull this party off, but in truth, I hardly know the man and have only had one conversation with him in my life (drowned out by the music of The Putah Creek Crawdads). I found out that Sue, with whom I decorated the cake yesterday, doesn't really know him all that well either.
But he's the heart and soul of Davis and it was a privilege to be able to help pull off this party for him. Walt and I went to the Art Center, where the party was held, at 1 p.m. to get set up. While others cleaned floors and bathrooms, put up tables and blew up ballons, and arranged chairs, Walt and I worked at putting lights around the doors and on this special throne borrowed from the City (they never lend this stuff out, but since it was for Herbert...)
My job was to hold the box of thumb tacks while Walt climbed up, down, on, and around the things to be lit. No wonder I was exhausted.
Erie Vitello, the director of the Art Center, said the place hadn't looked so clean in all the time she'd been its director, so we figured we were doing all right. Everything looked great, but the big question was whether anybody would actually come after all this work. The weather was kind of rainy, but we were hopeful.
Around 3 p.m., Sue arrived with the cake tiers and set them up. It looked just great and best of all, nobody bumped up against it or knocked it over, always my biggest fear! The reason for the flags is that Herbert is an international guy, born in Austria, escaped when Hitler came to power, has lived and worked all over the world and still, at 100, fights tirelessly for world peace. The reason for these specific flags is that they were the ones we had in our living room!
We rushed home and got back to the Art Center before the flood of guests started arriving, and in time to snag a seat for the entertainment.
When we got to the Art Center, even before the posted time of the party start, it was clear that we weren't going to have to worry about whether anybody would show up or not. The front hall was already clogged with arriving guests.
There was a real crowd in the room with the food.
But Herbert was beaming as he greeted old friends.
After everyone had a chance to get something to eat, there was the entertainment part of the show. Herb was led to the throne on the stage while MC Bob Dunning gave opening remarks. The Davis High Madrigal singers each presented him with a big cookie (he loves cookies) and sang three songs, including a special birthday song. The Cal Aggie Band-uh pulled out all the stops.
Next came Bob Bowen (with whom we have a long relationship!), who sang the song I had rewritten for the event. (It's the Video of the Day) A Davis Policeman presented Herbert with a special award for having a spotless driving record (not even a parking ticket) up until he gave up driving, at the end of December.
There was more silliness with local politicians, his mailman, and a group from the Pamela Trokanski Dance Studio, called the "Second Wind Dancers," all of older dancers (a group with whom Herb performed for many years), who danced to "He's a Rebel."
The festivities ended with The Putah Creek Crawdads singing a special song that had been written by The Psychiatrist (remember him?). They have been friends and colleagues for decades and nobody could have written the song but Cap.
The evening ended with comments from Herb himself, which could not have been better.
Over the coming days, I will be posting some other videos of the evening, ending with Herb's remarks (if the video turned out all right...so frustrating to have to shoot between two heads, but if I looked behind me it was a solid wall of people, so no place to move to!)
We're really tired tonight, but so is everyone involved with putting together this celebration of Herbert's life. It was a wonderful outpouring of love for this very special man. I'm sorry I never really knew him!
At Herb's 95th birthday party, people who saw my nametag told me they
loved my letters to the editor and wondered if I ever wrote anything else (I'd been a
theatre critic for The Enterprise for five years at that time). Tonight
people who saw my nametag and didn't know me, told me they loved reading my reviews.
I guess maybe I've finally made some sort of an impact.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
MC Davis Enterprise Columnist, Bob Dunning;
Herbert; State Assembly Member, Mariko Yamada