Sunday, September 19, 2010

649. A most excellent celebration

I am a very happy man tonight. Later this week I will be 50. Today, I was joined by 165 friends and about ten members of my family - also friends, for the record - for a birthday celebration. I just can't say how pleased and happy the day has made me.

But, never being a man of few words, I'll try.

First, I need to thank the people who helped me put it together. My friend Jessie Phelps was there before it started and helped me end the day by loading the car with all the presents I specifically told people not to bring but they did anyway. She is a great friend.

I had food from Ken Herndon who makes the most excellent Chicken and Pasta Salad in Louisville. He also brought some Avacado/Corn relish and other things. Susan Clark brought a hot dish and my boss, Brent Ackerson, brought the largest birthday cake in the shape of our great Commonwealth anyone has ever seen. There was plenty for everyone. There were a few other dishes on the table - I don't know who brought them but I am very grateful.

My bartenders for the afternoon were Michael Seewer, Christa Robinson, Jacob Conway, Bryan Mathews, Rande Swann, and her husband Don Swann. Thanks to all of you for making that part of the day (beer, whiskey, wine, and soft drinks) a success.

For music, I sent a list of the three hours of songs I wanted to hear to my friends Lisa Tanner and Lauren Ingram. They made me a set of CDs to play which required me to do something I've never done before - buy a CD player. I did so yesterday while out in Shelby County on my way back from visiting Cropper Days, a rural neighborhood festival in northeastern Shelby County. Thank you Lisa and Lauren. I now not only have the music of my life, but also the means by which to play it. The frist song of the night was Ringo Starr's "You're Sixteen." The final song was Lynard Skynard's "Freebird." In between were songs from Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, George Michael, the Eagles, Elton John, Michael Jackson, several from Jackson Browne, and a few others.

The party took place in the auditorium of my church, the Episcopal Church of the Advent. We had decorations leftover from the church's Annual Fundraising Dinner which was last night. Helping me coordinate things with the church were Fr. Tim Mitchell, Sam Dorr, Bryan Hoover, and Christopher Skye. Several members of the church were in attendance. I am so grateful to be a part of their church family.

I also had friends from all corners of my life. From my teenage days were Danny and Patty Meyer - they lived on E. Brandeis Avenue when I was a teenager. (By the way, I love the pic. Who is that handsome kid with the skinny waist and a full head of hair?) Another person who arrived early was Jimmy York, a Bellarmine College friend who lived in Germantown and later Pewee Valley. From my college and Kentucky Young Democrat days was Mary John Celletti and Mark Henry and a few others. Harry Johnson and I worked our first campaign together in 1979 - Thelma Stovall's race for governor. From my personal list of friends, some old, some very new, were Kevin Hickey, Susan Clark, Mark and Linda Weisemann Mulloy (with whom I worked many years of Friday nights for Bellarmine Booster Bingo), Michael Lucchese (whose card reminded that we've been friends for 17 of his 31 years and which he then added was nearly 1/3 of my life). Chris Bizzaco, Lynn Fischer, Margaret Harris, and Michael Nordman were there from one of the two campaigns I'm presently working in. Also present were Hazel Hartley who once sold me a pickup truck on a handshake. Linda Howell and Joan Powers were friends from my days in the Jefferson County Attorney's Ofice. My two closest friends, Ken Herndon and Irvin Montero-Garcia, were both present. I have to admit I was particularly happy to see Stuart Perelmuter, Michael Garton, Aaron Jent, Michael Lucchese, and especially Migael Dickerson. Honestly, there were too many people to name and I know I'm leaving some one or two or three of the 175 or so who were there out of the list.

However, as a part of the Louisville-Jefferson County Democratic Party family, I am obliged to mention the electeds who were present. (It is something we all do to impress ourselves mostly since the general public really doesn't care). Present to celebrate Birthday #50 with me were Congressman John Yarmuth (who is running for re-election), State Senators Tim Shaughnessy and Perry Clark, State Representative Darryl Owens (also running this year), Louisville Metro Council members Judy Green, Tom Owen, Vicki Welch, and my boss, Brent Ackerson. Also Jefferson District Judges Katie King, Sadiqa Reynolds, and Erica Lee Williams. Judy, Vicki, and the three judicial candidates are all of the ballot in November. Also present were Jefferson Circuit Clerk David Nicholson and Jefferson PVA Tony Lindauer. Tony is on this fall's ballot as well. Candidates Ken Herndon (for 6th District Council), Marty Meyer (for the 38th Senate seat once held by his father), John Sommers (for 23rd District Council), and Bryan Mathews (running for County Judge/Executive) were also present.

Finally, my family members were, with the exception of my niece Kavesha, all present. My parents, Barbara Hockensmith and Gene Noble; my uncle and aunt Chris and Ann, my Aunt Judy,; my one and only sibling Kevin, five of his children - Lindsey, Jacob, Aubreana, Kevin, and Elijah, and my brother's girlfriend Tenesa. That was all great.

I found out a few others were celebrating birthdays this week. Brandon Coan (whose party was last night) will be 30 on the 22nd - he popped in for a minute not quite recovered from last night's festivities. Laura Cullinane, Steve Barger, Steve's wife Willa, and Marty Meyer - all present today - are all getting older one day very soon. And while they weren't there, but while we are on the subject of birthdays, my dear friend Will Carle will be 30 tomorrow; my friend since from my teenage years Tim Allgeier is 50 today, and Sharon Holbert will be 60 the day I turn 50, later this week on the 23rd.

It's going to be a great week. And the week has started with a great celebration today. Again, I'm very happy.


1 comment:

Curtis Morrison said...

Hey Jeff, you can embed this if you want. There's a 2nd video, too, that I haven't uploaded yet, but will before tomorrow:

The Archives at Milepost 606


Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.