Dad’s Surprise Birthday Party

My dad is turning 80 next week. It is not really something he seems to be very excited about, but it’s a pretty good thing. Our friends Anne and Mark offered to give him a birthday party up in Annopolis. My dad declined. So my mother decided that if he didn’t want a party in Annopolis she would throw him a surprise party. Oh lord, this plan was fraught with lots of potential pitfalls.

First my mother had to find a place to hold it that was acceptable. Then she had to save up the money to pay for it. Then a very small guest list of only the closest of friends had to be drawn up, most of which were coming from Washington, all the while keeping this all a secret from my father. The hardest part of the whole plan was how we were going to get him to go to this restaurant at the right time.

My mother asked me to invite him. I asked Carter to ask him, thinking that he would never say No to his only grandchild. She did and he said No. So my sister Janet had to get involved. Eventually he gave in and said he would go to dinner with my mom, sisters and my family, but he wasn’t happy about it.

The out of town friends were staying at the nicest hotel in Danville and they all dutifully arrived at the restaurant on time. It was decided that we would not say “surprise,” because we didn’t want to scare my Dad. He walked in the room and when he saw all the friends gathered there he said exactly what I predicted, “Shit!” He may not have been happy at first, but he quickly warmed up.

There were many of the friends we had worked with in London, Washington or Kansas City together. It was so fun for me to see them. I think my Dad had a good time and my Mom pulled it all off.

Mark Schweitzer, who has known my dad since Mark was nine years old, just a mere 51 years ago gave a lovely toast, as did Cousin Harry. My sister Margaret said many sweet things about my Dad and I gave him the bad news, that we were having all these people to the farm tomorrow for brunch. Surprise! A second party. There is nothing he hates more than having a surprise party, except when it is with people he really loves.

I hope he remembers this as a very fun night because it really was and my Mom did a fabulous job to make it happen.

One Comment on “Dad’s Surprise Birthday Party”

  1. Stori Cadigan says:

    wish I had been there !!!

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