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Last week I mentioned once too often that I was about to turn eighty years old, and someone said let’s have a party. It seemed a little presumptuous to have a party for an old fart like me, so I said, if anyone else was about to have a birthday why don’t we have a group birthday party, or more precisely a birth-month party, or perhaps a birth-sign party, whatever. The weather was predicted to be perfect in the late afternoon, so six days after that suggestion it happened.

Birthday party in Bend, Oregon

My birthday party expanded into a group of birthday parties.

There were twenty-two people at this almost spontaneous party, and six of us were close enough to our birthdays to be named revelers. As you can see from the photo above it was a very pleasant setting, and nearly everyone knew everyone quite well. Mostly it was just pleasant talking, but one absurdity happened when Pat called out to me from across the group, asking what I was drinking. I had finished my half glass of wine earlier and had refilled my elegant tulip with tap water, but not wanting to appear a party pooper I yelled back that it was vodka, 180 proof vodka. She asked if she could have some, and of course I said sure, I would never wish to deny a lady a drink. So, walking across the open group, I assured her that it was potent stuff, and she should be careful or she might end up even sillier than I am. So, after a quick sniff, she took a gulp and looked appropriately startled, smiled and handed me back the glass, with a thank-you. The woman sitting next to Pat looked on in disbelief, and asked if she could have a drink, so I handed her the glass saying that this brand of vodka sometimes reverts quickly to water so she should drink it quickly. But, she wasn’t quick enough, and claimed it was water. So much for empirical science.

We birthday celebrants were requested to bring a childhood photo, so this morning I searched around and found my baby book of data and photos, and among them was this picture of yours truly aged about three and a half years.

A portrait photo of Charles Scamahorn

Charles LeRoy Scamahorn at 3½ in April 1938 in Spokane, Washington

We all showed off our photos, talked a lot more, and went home. We will meet again at ten tomorrow morning.

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