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Robert A. Mills

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Blogs by Robert A. Mills

BIRTHDAY BOY RIDES (MARTA) AGAIN
7/23/2011 5:15:09 AM
My birthday this year turned out to be the social event of the season on Atlanta’s calendar re where to be and why (the age I achieved this time around is irrelevant — sort of. They say age is just a number. Right.)

The usual in-laws and outlaws were rounded up and herded in by the Party Police; the amazing surprise was my eldest daughter and her husband who drove down from Kentucky, plus my grandson, his wife, and my two great-grandkids from West Palm Beach also showed (they will soon be moving to Atlanta, like everyone else.)

As a birthday present, my youngest daughter and her husband drove in from Tennessee with my brand new infant grandson, Hutson, whom they intend to leave overnight with us while they attended a friend’s wedding in Athens, GA. Whoopee!

Absent unfortunately were my son, his wife, and assorted grandchildren. Also, my granddaughter in Fillmore NY, her husband, and my great-grandson, Jordan, the eminent tennis aficionado.

Also, my kid brother and his family — Jack, who is 5˝ years younger than I, claimed poor health as his primary excuse (at least the word “poor” is operative.)

Most sadly, my eldest grandson Jason, a lieutenant colonel in the USAF, was unable to be here with his family (his wife and three great-grandkids, two of which I have never seen.) Jason has just returned from a tour in Afghanastan and is relinquishing command of his unit in Tucson and is being transferred to McDill AFB, near Tampa.

All in all, however, there seemed to be 4,738 people crammed into our Marietta home, and my wife outdid herself to make sure I had a night to remember. The food, decorations, games, cake, etc. would have delighted Chef Ramsay, the Cake Boss, GHTV, and Mark Burnett (not to mention the Undercover Boss.)

There were too many highlights to innumerate here. One that stands out was a “Jeopardy-like” game concocted by daughter Barbara — category board and all, with 84 questions developed from past incidents, which I was supposed to recall (being the only contestant, I scored 63 out of 84.) Most of the questions were based on suppositions known only to relatives or friends that were dead or in jail — or both.

Another highlight was an activity orchestrated by my youngest daughter and her husband: a Friday night on the Club Level at Turner Field to watch the Atlanta Braves destroy the Washington Nationals. We all went to the game via MARTA, and we even took 5-month old Hutson, who howled and shrieked every time the Braves got a hit (of which there were many during this 10,000th lifetime victory: we won 11-3.)

The party two days later took about 19 and 3/4s hours, what with the eating and presents and “Jeopardy-like” game. The youngest daughter also read several pages from a book she had written about how her ancient stuffed rabbit Henry was being passed down to her son Hutson. This was a most tender and sacred scenario written by a much better author than I; I received a copy of the actual book via USPS the next day, and it, illustrated with magnificent photos, will be cherished long after Alex’s Pulitzer Prizes have tarnished and been pawned.

All in all, I cannot recall a more satisfying birthday, thanx mainly to my wife. My own parents, along with other meaningful relatives, are long gone. But I was reminded of my maternal grandmother, Lizzy Maugham, a Brit who as a youngster traveled all over England in a caravan, a gypsy soothsayer and fortune-teller, plying her supernatural gifts for the amusement and benefit of shilling-paying fairgoers.

Once, in the early 40’s, she “read” my tea leaves and said, “Bobby, me boy, ye are destined to live to the ripe old age of 94!”

That gives me fourteen to go, and I believe her — so much so, I have never had a cup of tea since.


Copyright©2011 by Robert A. Mills, all rights reserved


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More Blogs by Robert A. Mills
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