Thursday, September 1, 2011
Sandra from next door at South Center Printing rushed over Tuesday morning of last week to ask what had happened.
She had seen the big black wreath on the front door of The South Reporter when she arrived at work.
“It’s OK,” I told her. “The boss is just turning 50, and they’re trying to go ahead and write me off.”
She breathed a sigh of relief, and laughed a lot, too.
Later that afternoon another lady who I did not know walked in and asked the same question – “What happened?”
I gave her the same answer.
My employees here at the newspaper, as you well know after seeing the photo on page 5 of last week’s edition, threw an “Over the Hill” party for me on August 23, two days prior to my turning the “Big and Dreaded 5-0.”
Beth Breithaupt’s fabulous birthday cake was a big hit – both through the pages of The South Reporter and via Facebook.
Yes, that was a casket on top. And, yes, the casket was edible, too.
But the the caption on the cake was wrong – I hope. It read, “Here lies your youth – gone.”
Thanks to all of you for your “Happy Birthday” wishes and your jokes, too.
I moved to Holly Springs 10 years ago and shortly thereafter celebrated my 40th. That party seems like just yesterday.
My 50th birthday, on last Thursday, Aug. 25, proved to be a great day.
I had actually planned to take at least part of the day off work. As typical, that did not pan out. But that’s OK.
What was feared as a bigger electrical problem here at the office turned out to be OK, for now.
My mom was the first to call that morning.
A card from her followed. Hers always make me cry.
My sisters followed with their well wishes, plus some more not-so-nice remarks.
And I got cards from them, too – the not-so-serious kind.
One said, “Don’t worry, 50 is just a number...and the Titanic was just a boat and World War II was just a misunderstanding, and Chernobyl was just a few leaky pipes. Just kidding! Have fun!”
Another said, “50? I wouldn’t exactly say you’re old. No, that would be rude. I’d use a word like ‘seasoned’ or ‘mature’ or ‘ripe’ or something like that. But old? Right to your face? Never. Happy birthday!”
I got lots of messages from friends and family members from all over.
Many came from former classmates at Hamilton, Ala., High School, and they could not do much ribbing because most of them had turned 50 prior to me. I was one of the youngest in the Class of 1979 – with a late birthday toward the end of August.
My oldest daughter called from Southern Miss and said, “Hey, old man!”
But she followed that with a special, “I love you, Daddy” and many more kind words.
That night I was blessed with an outstanding birthday dinner – accompanied by wife Pam, son Andy and daughter Erin.
I know I say this time and time again in this space, but I just can’t figure out where the years have gone. Sunday, I continued to push Pam toward buying a camper for retirement.
I e-mailed my doctor and told her I guess it’s time for the big 50-year-old checkup.
I will see how long it takes me to make that appointment.
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