Hard to believe at the end of this month I will have had 85 birthdays.
One birthday I’ll always remember is my 7th birthday. My mother didn’t have the money to buy a birthday cake so she went to the local bakery and bought one signal cupcake. And we couldn’t afford candles, so she placed a match stick in the middle of the cupcake and lit it. My mom, younger sister and I sang happy birthday. I blew out the match and the three of us shared the cupcake.
I have had many birthdays since the cupcake year, however when I think of my 75th, It still makes me smile. My wife was giving an appreciation party for her customers and needed my help. She wanted me to to prepare the meal and of course I agreed even before I knew what help she needed.
She asked if I would make Italian for around 80 people. Italian is my specialty, my family and friends are always requesting that I make it. I had catered my daughters wedding a few years before, so my wife knew I could handle it.
Days before the event I prepared a few trays of lasagne, meatballs, Italian sausage, chicken parmigiana, and salad. I made gallons of my homemade tomato sauce along with a few trays of garlic bread. Needless to say, it was a lot of work.
Even though my wife told me one of her customers owned a bakery and would supply the dessert, I couldn’t help but make my famous strawberry topped cheesecake.
A large party hall was rented out for the event and because we had had events their in the past, I knew the hall would have everything I needed. The day of the event I carried all my prepared trays over to the hall. When I walked in I noticed it was decorated in crape paper, balloons and a half dozen of my wife’s company signs.
Since the “event” started at six, I set up the food so it would be ready around seven, then went home to clean up a bit so I could get back to the hall in time for the event.
When I returned to the hall the parking lot was full and thought how pleased my wife would be with such a good turn out. When I walked through the front door, I was presently surprised by around 80 of my family and friends, all singing “Happy Birthday to Bob”.
I was so surprised and couldn’t believe my wife hid the plans for my surprise birthday party, all while getting me to cater my own birthday party, how cleaver was that move! I went over to give her a hug and whispered in her ear “You got me!”
For entertainment, my wife asked a few of my music friends if they would help with the entertainment, they took turns singing while people danced.
The highlight of the entertainment was our oldest son who at the time was professional entertainer. He did his impersonation of Roy Orbison, all dressed in black, dark glasses and even had the same model guitar Roy played. After Orbison he did his impersonation of Elvis and when he did the American Trilogy, he brought the house down.
Because I love playing the piano, the birthday cake was in the shape of a huge piano, the keyboard in black and white icing. And next to the cake was a single cupcake with a single match stick.
I blew out the candles and the single match stick and felt so lucky to have family and friends who wanted to celebrate me. I still smile when I think of how my wife got me to cater my own birthday party.