A surprise party  --  10/05/05

This past weekend Nancy and I drove over to my old home town, Kingston, NY. We passed the time -- it's about four hours (including a half-way Dunkin Donuts break) -- listening to an audio book version of Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation (this was the unabridged version -- read by Nelson Runger, who did a good job). We also listened to it on the trip back home and are almost half-way through the book -- I guess we'll have to make another trip before it's due back at the library. (It is certainly an interesting topic, the concept is notable, and the research appears to be fairly thorough. If I were reading it, however, I probably would have begun to just skim the book after the first few chapters. Brokow just isn't a very good writer.)

We got to Charlie & Donna's house somewhere between 6 and 6:30 Saturday, enjoyed a tasty beef stew for dinner (Thank you Donna!). That evening Charlie showed video he had taken on a Caribbean cruise that he and Donna had been on a couple of years ago. Nancy and I are planning on going on a cruise this winter. We have never gone on a cruise and Charlie & Donna have gone on a number of cruises, so we got lots of good tips and advice. On Sunday we had a leisurely breakfast followed by a leisurely walk with Charlie and Zoe (their new puppy). Then Nancy and I went into Kingston so she could do some shopping at a teacher store (classroom supplies).

The special occasion bringing us to Kingston was a Sunday afternoon surprise birthday party for Oscar, my cousin Carol's husband. Eighty-five is a proper age to be honored with a party, don't you think?
It was a good party... starting around three in the afternoon... with the guest of honor walking into the room with a suitably surprised look on his face around three-thirty.

Good food and drink. [Oh... you know how I'm always trying to discover new craft beers -- There is now a micro-brewery in Kingston -- Keegan Ales -- I had their Hurricane Kitty IPA at the party and it was quite good.]
My brother Charlie served as disk jockey for the party -- an activity that kept him busy (except when he played a CD so he could get a chance to sit down and eat) because he was playing selections from his collection of 78 rpm disks. For those of you youngsters who think you are old because you remember 33 rpm albums, let me point out that 78s had just one song per side and that the term "album" was used to describe multiple heavy paper sleeves (each holding one disk) that were bound together in a book-like fashion.

Thus we got to listen to lots of music from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Tony Bennett, Patti Page, Jo Stafford, Johnnie Ray, Rosemary Clooney, Dean Martin, The Four Lads, and on and on...

Songs from long ago... no rap at all... almost every song at least fifty years old.
And, of course, the guest of honor would have to be made the center of attention, given a bit of a roasting.

First (on the right) cousin Roger does the honors and then (on the left) Charlie takes over.
Okay, one last picture and then I'll let you go...

Here are Oscar and Carol being joined by the newly-wed couple Brandi and Chad.

Well, that was my weekend... and it only took me until Wednesday to turn it into a journal entry...

jimsjournal -- on the Web since September 26, 1996!

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