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10 SHY OF 100

1 September 2003

alices.JPG (47823 bytes) Today is Walt's mother's 90th birthday and we have just come from a huge bash celebrating the occasion. Somewhere between 30 and 40 people came to the home of Walt's brother Norm and his wife Olivia for an open house which lasted all afternoon. Their mother knew that "something" was being planned, but she wasn't prepared for the extent to which her offspring had gone.

Norm is in the copying business, and so had made lifesize copies of photos of Alice as a child which were placed around the house. There were four different displays of photos from all areas of her life from childhood up to the present. (The picture here is from her first communion).

She doesn't see too well these days, because of worsening macular degeneration, so everything was "big" and with scrutiny, she was able to make it out, and had a wonderful time looking at the old photos and talking about the stories associated with them.

It was a catered affair and while people sat at tables in the back yard, Ned, who had brought sound equipment from the radio station where he works, did interviews with as many people as he could get to.  They told their favorite "Alice stories," reminiscences of their times with her.  I talked about how much I admired her for her trip (she has traveled all over the world) when she was in her mid-70s.  She took the second Orient Express train scheduled after the line had been re-opened.   She was traveling through parts of China which had never seen white people before, washing out her underwear in cold water in hotel wash basins and eating food I certainly would not be brave enough to try.  I have always admired her spunk.

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Cousin Ernie Baur got the prize (or would have if there was one) for coming the farthest.  He and his wife flew in from Maryland for the event.

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Alice's long-time friend Jane got the prize (or would have if there was one) for having known Alice the longest--her husband and Walt's father worked together and Jane met Alice when she came to work for the same office.  (Jane will be 90 herself very soon.)  I don't think they've seen each other since Alice's 80th birthday celebration.

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Tom, who lives in Santa Barbara, where Walt's sister Alice Nan lives, has been one of the biggest party planners, in cahoots with Alice Nan and her significant other, Joe.

The three of them (mostly Tom, they say, with e-mail collaboration from the others) put together a 13 verse song which was sung by the three kids and cousin Ernie, with Tom and Joe on accompaniment (called "Joe and the Matriarchal Remnants"), and Ned kibbitzing, when he wasn't recording it.

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The cake design itself is a good indication of the kind of good natured person Alice has been most of her life...

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(She's wearing a Giant's uniform with a catcher's mitt in her hand).

I think she was truly surprised and touched by today's celebration.  Everyone involved in the planning certainly did themselves proud.   Tom was proudest when he saw that their song brought a tear to her eye.   "We've done our work," he said!

I'm a bazongabooster.gif (5125 bytes) are you?


For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.

~ John Glenn

Today's Photo

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Created 8/25/03 

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