I have a bright memory of the day – May 27, 1960. It was the last day of school, third grade. We had just moved the past year and I attended Elkins First Ward. Miss Ray was my teacher. She drove a bright red Valiant. I had just met Colleen. The day? It was Eric’s birthday. He’d been born in the overnight hours at Davis Memorial hospital. My father had left us (John and myself) sleep. He’d taken my mother to the hospital and returned in time to get me to school. John was still pre-school. We’d been left alone overnight. I never gave it a thought (you can’t just leave kids these days). Meanwhile, it’s Eric’s birthday again. I won’t be with him this year. I got a shot this morning using a macro lens I dug out of the closet. It was a mission/quest. And it was another excuse to post a random flower pic taken today. I’ve got a full-blown garden going. And the other slide is from years back with Eric holding his favorite nephew, Steven. It’s not fair to the other kids, but there was a special affinity. Otherwise, we must be PC and say he loved everyone “equal.” But there was chemistry between them. Happy birthday.
I am notoriously difficult to shop for. After all I have largely gone and gotten whatever I needed. I don’t lust – much – for things, silly. I don’t ask for and I protest when someone wants to get me a present. So I’m pretty ok without any Xmas or birthday gifts anymore. Really! So?! This was the sole present of my recent HB. White chocolate! Mmmmm, no, I’m not much of a white chocolate fan. Go for the sin if you are going to do it. Get dark chocolate! Nonetheless, it occurs to me now that it was the one and only. Thank you. Worse, I took a picture of it. Yeah, I shoot everything.
Seven years ago. Hmmm….Shutterfly knows how to press my buttons. This was an uploaded series (in Shutterfly) from my birthday. How do you surprise me? It ain’t easy. Some people give. Some receive. I’m the former. It’s pretty hard to do something for someone who’s done about everything and has about all he could think of. I’m not being smug. It’s just that I have been a headache in the gift department for a lot of people for many years. Jules and her mother decided to give me a World Cruise dinner birthday as a surprise. Don’t ask. I don’t remember all the details except that it was a cold foggy almost rainy day/evening. They got me on the boat dressed semi-casual/formal – at least no tie, but shoes and socks. It’s a dinner cruise while the boat goes around lower Manhattan. Jules was sorely seasick. Oh my! She sat on deck in the freezing drizzle while we ate. No dancing. Was that her plan? Nope. She was pretty green up top – and pretty frozen too. She perked up as soon we disembarked. Anyway, she’s just like her dad; we both have a history of motion sickness. Fortunately, what I remember, it was a good meal. At least something memorable happened in 2010.
Another year older. Last I checked Jules had a goal to visit 30 countries by 30 years old. And for a number of years we were in the Tyler Place on her birthday. She made out like a bandit. She had a party before school ended, another with the family, and the third in Vermont. Now, married. It still seems odd to me. She and Dave have had ups and downs. But they get better with time. I know that when I am with them it’s a lot of fun. But then, that is less and less. It’s nice to have some pics of them together. Funny. In all pics everyone is happy and it’s never raining. It makes you think that life is about sunny days. Well, if you recall, the wedding day it rains sideways. There was a drought in California. Sunny the day before and the day after the wedding, I don’t think anyone cared that it rained. But a lot of very nice shoes got all muddy.
Happy Birthday. I just remember the day. Eric was born on the last day of third grade for me. That would be Elkins First Ward School. Lot of memories there. I awoke and mom had delivered overnight. Dad was getting us breakfast. John and me. He had left us alone overnight. We slept and never knew it. I barely remember when John was born. All I remember is that they kept acting like I might be jealous of someone new in the house. He did not affect me in the least. We were expecting a girl (Eric). Hoping for a girl. I don’t know why. It seems ok by me that I got another brother. His name is closer to the front of the alphabet. And he got a middle name.
Me? My mother used a baby name book. She bailed at V. WXYZ not too much further to go. And no middle name. “T” it was on my birth certificate. No, I did not know till I was sixteen. My first summer job as a waiter in a camp and when they returned our birth certificates someone pointed it out. “Oh, well, I didn’t have a first name for you. So I just saved a spot.” Great story. And each brother got a letter closer to the front of the alphabet.
My mother was one of seven children. The last three were sisters. The youngest sister my dear Auntie Fu Ching told me after my mother had passed away, “Your mother lied on your birth certificate.” Huh? The older sister Emily told her she was too old to have a baby (me). So she told my mother, “Lie about your age.” Great! I have looked and I know that I am not a girl.
You’d be surprised but a lot of Chinese guys have my name. I can’t get my name alone as an identifier for email or username. The most fun I had was entering Hong Kong after I visited China. I was separated from my group and placed in a room with a very nice man with a rifle. It was clear he was guarding me. I, of course, did not have a guilty conscience. But I cooled my heels for a while. And when released (I was released with a smile) my friend informed me that the customs folks thought they had just caught one of the big drug smugglers with my same name. Geez!
I am the worst at remembering birthdays. Carol, Susan, Amy, you know who you are. Every year on my birthday I receive a greeting. It’s nice. And when the time comes I am clueless as to when your birthday might be. Yes, I could ask once again and write it down on one of any devices that are designed to keep me in touch. So to all you ladies, I apologize. Belated or not, I am just remiss and will ever be. So happy birthday to all of you. You know who you are! I remember Ginny and Colleen for some reason. And yes the kids – my kids.
I’ve been to the restaurant on top of the World Trade Center. Restaurants being what they are it was not too difficult to get a reservation as long as it was done in advance. I need not mention it no longer exists. This occasion was for my thirtieth birthday and Lisa sprang the surprise. I don’t have a shot of the view. It is of course why you go there. What’s in my archive are several pictures of how we looked a lot of years ago. No I wouldn’t embarrass Lisa with mention of age. Suffice it to say that these pictures were at the same age as my kids are now.
John and Eric, well, we were all pretty young. I was there at the restaurant on a couple other occasions once for a significant birthday for my neurosurgery chairman Joe Ransahoff. Of course there’s no going back. The restaurant was lost forever on 9/11. My kids never ate here. But they did once come to the top when the Frary’s visited.