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Today in My History

2001:  Don't Look Back
2002:  Aging in Rochester
2003:  Dim Sum
2004:  Sixty-One
Where Am I?  How Did I Get Here?

2006:  Battered Woman Syndrome
Technological Quagmire
2008:  Napping with Kate

2009:  Kaiser Labyrinth

2010:  So Many Choices
2011:  A Quiet Birthday After All

Where I've Been...Where I'm Going

Bitter Hack
: 2/1
"The North Plan"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 2/15
"Breath of Snow and Ashes"

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My 70th Birthday

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt

(happy birthday, Peggy -- wherever you are)

18 February 2013

Didja hear?  I had a party today!  Actually it was the 50-70-75 party.  Tavie, the oldest of the Pinata Group kids, was turning 50, I was turning 70 and Rich, from the Generation 1 Pinata Group was turning 75.

They wanted to make this a surprise party, but knew that would be impossible.  The surprise was that Jeri and Phil came, but my mother spilled the beans on that to me yesterday.  I didn't tell Walt I knew, which was a good thing because he didn't know!  So he was the only one surprised to find them here.  

At one point Walt counted about 50-60 people in the back of the restaurant.  We had "substantial munchies" several kinds of beer and soft drink and an amazing cake that actually had 195 candles on it.

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Bri gave me the biggest card, which was very appropriate to give me.

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Char finally met Shelly and Ellen, face to face and introduced herself saying "I'm 'my friend Char' and you guys are 'my friends Shelly and Ellen'."  What I love is that nobody had to explain that!

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The kids had invited my friend, singer-songwriter Steve Schalchlin to come, but he is a big shot performer in New York now and couldn't make it, but offered to write a song for the event.  When he didn't, the kids came through with a great rendition of "When I'm 64," with rewritten lyrics.  I love having talented kids.  I will eventually have a video of it, but the lyrics went like this (containing lots of in-jokes for the Pinata group)

Beverly Sykes, it's your birthday today
All your friends are here
Everybody raise a glass and give 3 cheers
Here's a toast t seventy years
Hang a pinata, mix a gin fizz
Tweet for all to see
There's no more waiting, we're celebrating
Turning seventy

Sending a postcard, writing a blog
Stating points of view
Entertaining anecdotes about her day
Logos, blood bank, SPCA
Saving the world one child at a time
So Compassion-it
Letters and monies, to third world countries
Where no one gives a ... care

We can get together on New Year's Eve
And hit a pinata or two
But don't hit the fluorescent tuuuuuuuubes
And if it just won't break
Bill's ham-mer will do

If you're just a boy and you want a little clam dip
Don't hover over the bowl
Take one chip and leeeeeeeeeave
And if you're just a girl
Eat all that you please

Tavie's the coolest, leading the girls
No yucky boys allowed
She was playing soccer in a frozen land
Played the mellophone in the Cal Band
She's been to Paris, climbed up Half Dome
Costa Rica too
Now she's fifty, isn't that nifty
Tavie, here's to you

The man from Ione, Rich followed the sun
Back in sixty-one
He drove here on a freeway that he helped to build
Thanks to him the potholes get filled
Camping with Kevin, married to Pat
Riding his bike past a ditch
Navy reservist, VW Buggist
That's what we know about Rich!

Fifty and seventy and seventy-five
That's a lot of years
Put 'em all together it's a century
Actually Ned, it's a double century
I really don't care cuz we're having a ball
We've come from far and near

How do you doodily doodily doodle
Moses supposes his toeses are roses
Get off your asses and lift up your glasses
And drink up all this beer!

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Ned invited people to speak, if they wanted to.  Char talked about each of the 3 of us, and she talked about our misadventures throughout the years.   Later, she gave me juice and crackers, which was the absolute perfect gift.

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We took group photos and then, of course, had a pinata.  Rich, Tavie and I got to go first (we did lousy).  Then the little kids had their turn--it was Brianna's first Pinata Group pinata (and we let her cheat and hit it without a blindfold)

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I loved the people who came.  Phoebe came all the way from Colorado, flying in this afternoon and flying back to Denver as soon as the party was over.  I was all verklempt at that.

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She said she had brought gifts for each of us, a new shirt I could use to replace my yellow Jello shirt on our next trip.

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And I was so tickled that Vince came.

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Vince moved in with us when he was a sophomore in high school and his family was returning to Malaysia as his father's studies at UCD had finished.  He lived with us until he graduated 3 years later.  He then went to UCD, graduated, did graduate work, got a great job, citizenship, a wife, and  a set of twins who are now about 12 (or maybe older).  He lives in Davis, but we hadn't seen him in a long time.  It was fun watching him catch up with our kids, who are like siblings to him (and look--he has grey hair!)

Eventually they lit all those candles and nearly set the cake on fire.

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...after which people started going home.  My mother didn't come to the party.  She was not feeling well and thought she would stay home.  I was really glad and kind of relieved that she didn't.  The chairs would not have been comfortable for her and the confusion of all those people would not have been fun for her.  She also would have been stuck waiting for a ride home, so we will celebrate my birthday when I have lunch with her this week.  I told her I was fine with that--that she had been there for the most important of my birthdays (the first one!) and that was enough.

I actually spoke at this party, something I never do, because I always get teary (and did today too). I told people that in Oliver! Fagin sings "must come a time--70.   When you're old and you're cold and who cares if you live or you die.  The one consolation's money you may have put by."  I said that looking around that room at so many people who have been friends for such a long time, I realized that money isn't important at all...it's the friendships you make a long the way.

I am truly blessed with wonderful friends...and great kids too!!!

Thanks, EVERYBODY!  (If anybody wants to see all the photos, they are now up on Flickr.)


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The Whole Party
(also my last photo for "My 70th Year"!)


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