December 22, 2004

I Survived An Excellent Birthday Party!

Good afternoon! It's 2 p.m. and I have recovered from my excellent birthday party and I'm ready to get to work! First of all, I'm going to write about my party, since I've already received several e-mails and a couple of phone calls asking for details.

Jerry, DMG & JimI arrived at Humphrey's about 5:15 and immediately hit the One Buck Buffet for two carved beef sandwiches. I added a Guinness to that and grabbed a table for six and started eating.

About 15 minutes later I saw Pauline Carbone and her friend Nancy Matson walking in the door, only to be passed by my old friend Shelly Peterson, who spotted me first and headed straight for me. I gave Shelly a hug and asked if she knew who she had walked by, so she turned around to see Pauline and Nancy reach the table. I taught with Pauline from 1980-84 at Our Lady of Peace, and Shelly was one of her students there. I don't think they had seen each other since Shelly graduated in 1981!

After hugs all around, I showed them to the buffet table and they scored some cheap food. I got a fish taco, while Shelly went for the oysters, which I avoided all night. Yuk!

Next to arrive was someone I didn't even know would be there, Laura Widulski. I met her about four or five years ago through Nadine Butler's East Coast Transplants club. I was very pleasantly surprised that Laura was there, because I've always thought she is really nice and I'm always pleased to see her!

I showed Laura the buffet and got two more beef sandwiches for myself. Not too long after that, Shelly had to leave to go home and take care of her sick husband. Get well soon Pete!

Two of my brothers from St. Augustine High School's Class of '67 cruised in next. Jim Harmon got there first, then Jerry Gontang checked in a little later, both for my party and to play with the band, Island Breeze. In the photo above, the three of us lined up alphabetically from the left -- Gontang, Green and Harmon -- so we must still remember something they taught us at Saints!

Island Breeze started playing at 8. Laura had left by then, and after catching a few songs, Jim had to head home too, as he had been awake since 4 a.m. John Bowe and Buzzy Buchanan are other members of the band I know, and I chatted some with both of them during the evening.

Pixie, Nancy & PaulineThe last guests to arrive were well worth waiting for -- my very dear friend Pixie Warren and her friend and Schroeder's Club and Cabaret partner Sher Krieger! I met Pixie way back in 1976, and she's another OLP graduate, so she and Pauline know each other too. I've known Sher since she came with Pixie and her large group of family and friends to Tony Gwynn's final Padres game, which I brought 137 people to on the last day of the 2001 season. Pauline has attended a couple of Pixie's cabaret shows, so she and Sher also know each other. From the left in this photo are Pixie, Nancy and Pauline.

By that time the band was rocking! Jerry came over and sat with us at a break, and asked Pixie if she would do a song. They threw a few ideas back and forth and settled on "Blue Bayou." I loved it that Pixie got up and sang it, but I felt bad for her because it all happened pretty swiftly and the guys and her never really seemed to find a key that worked for all of them at once.

That probably would have been the highlight of the evening, if not for one more little thing. Pixie actually lured me onto the dance floor to use my feet rather than take pictures!

If you've known me long and have ever been with me at a music event, there's very little chance that you've ever seen me dance, as it's not something I do more than once every 20 years or so! I felt completely goofy and I'm sure I looked more like I was having a seizure than dancing, but I must admit I didn't totally hate the experience. Maybe I'll have to start trying it every 10 years now!

I wish more of you could have been there, but those who were there gave me an absolutely great night! Thank you all so much!

Even though this was a wonderful birthday party, it still was my last one, as from now on I will find better things to celebrate than me getting older! Expect to hear about a fun party sometime in 2005 when it's much warmer than it is in December!

Posted at 2:04 PM in Birthdays, DMG's Family, DMG's Friends