So the party has come and gone, and it was great. The food came at the right time, and I was amazed at how punctual the guests were. Usually, whatever the nominal start time is means people drift in about 30-90 minutes past that. The first guest showed up at 5:31 and probably half of them were here by 5:45. That’s both good and bad, because there was a huge density of arrivals that kind of overwhelmed our greeting and parking infrastructure, but it all worked out.
We had what seemed like a ridiculous amount of food brought by the caterer and yet, almost all of it was eaten. (Update: There is still a lot left. I didn’t realize we had multiple containers going.) The cake (chocolate iced and filled with chocolate mousse, you can get them at Costco) was delicious. I actually went in and did the festivities of blowing out the candles with my niece Emily but didn’t actually eat a piece until late in the party. Like always happens when you host, I actually had less food and beer than you might think.
I don’t know what the head count was, but the house and the porches were pretty full for the evening. A lot of great friends new and old came and just had a big old time. One of the things that made me happiest was the for the most part, even the shy people were striking up conversations with each other. I’d look out and see my current coworkers talking with my college friends, my mom talking to my neighbors, what have you. It didn’t require us to make all the connections and get people talking, so that warmed my heart.
I ended up making the set list that Michelle Malone and band played. We started talking about songs I wanted to hear, so I just kept adding and next thing you knew there was a whole shows worth. Everyone seemed to like the band and apparently she moved a lot of merchandise for a house party. I joked with her that I should have negotiated up front a cut of the merch, and she gave me a t-shirt so that worked out. I realized when they first showed up that Phil her bass player was the guy in Drag the River back when I helped them haul equipment up the steps for them to play Live at WREK back in 1988 or 1989. Old folks cluster together.
Thanks to a lot of people, but particularly Nancy Nelson and my sister-in-law Marilyn and my brother for keeping the details handled during the party. Once the party really got rolling, I never actually took out any trash or did any infrastructural stuff. Something needed handling, and someone handled it. In fact, Derek Coward suggested taking before and after parties to see the preparation and then the mess. There was no mess because as the party was winding down, people were cleaning up on the fly. I was sitting down having a quiet beer and chat with the last few people (including one of my WREK friends that I’ve known for 20 years) and my brother was running around bussing the tables and emptying all the trash. It was amazing and I can’t thank everyone enough.
We don’t throw parties often, but this occasion seemed like the one to do it before we are all too old for this kind of shenanigan. The fact that this isn’t my actual birthday worked out to my advantage because I could deflect all the “now you are 40” jokes with “Aha! Not till next week!”
I saw a lot of people taking pictures and hopefully some of them will get sent to me and/or flickr’d. This picture of me and the band is the only one on my camera from the whole party. Thanks to everyone for coming and for partying and helping me ease the pain of getting old. Misery loves company, and I had a lot of company.