This is my last post as a 50-year old. This doesn’t mean I’m done with writing my blog….it just means that I’m a year older, and hopefully a year wiser.
As Saturday is my 51st Birthday, I’ve been thinking about the key birthdays that I’ve had, and what was so unique about them.
1976 – my 7th birthday…..my family went to my mom’s hometown of St. Joseph MO that August, and I remember having my birthday with my cousins, aunts and uncles. I specifically remember some great songs from that summer, like “Kiss and Say Goodbye” by the Manhattans, and “Another Rainy Day in New York City” by Chicago, as they were in heavy radio rotation during our trip in the car to the Midwest and back.
1980 – my 11th birthday….I got my first 10 speed bike….I remember my dad trying to assemble it the day before without me knowing, and me acting very surprised! We went up to Storytown Amusement Park (now Six Flags) near Lake George, and that I rode just about every ride that I could that day.
1982 – my 13th birthday…this is a day that will live in infamy, as this is the year that I got my first Jheri Curl (a California Curl to be exact) while we were visiting family in Sacramento…thus the messing up of car windows and pillowcases began! We spent my entire birthday in two gospel church services (it fell on a Sunday), and at the second service, this brotha sang a song called “I’ve Been Touched” for over an hour….seriously!! Although we went go-kart racing that night, all I remember is being in church ALL DAY LONG.
1985 – my 16th birthday….there was nothing sweet about my “Sweet 16”, as I spent the morning at the doctor’s office being diagnosed with mono. Over the course of the next two weeks, I dropped down to 119 pounds, as I also had tonsillitis…to this day, I have not had a grape ice pop, as that’s all I could eat for those two weeks. I remember that there were repeats of the sitcom “Angie” every morning, and I’d wake up to see Donna Pescow’s smile, and then go back to sleep for 8 – 10 hours.
1990 – my 21st birthday….I went out and won a karaoke contest, had my first “legal” beer….the previous week I went up to Buffalo to celebrate my birthday with my “sister” Maria and her family, and Maria and I went to the Giants/Bills preseason game in Orchard Park. Rodney Hampton had a 91-yard TD run for the G-Men, and my mother swore she could hear me going nuts on TV!! (Five months later, the Giants beat the Bills in Super Bowl XXV…..can you say “wide right?” Sorry…..couldn’t resist.)
2011 – my 42nd birthday….this was my first birthday celebration in Alexandria. To say that Jenn went above and beyond is an understatement! She got a bouncy house for my birthday party, and it was awesome! In addition to getting me some wonderful gifts (like she does every year), she got me my favorite snack – Cheetos and grape soda!
2013 – my 44th birthday….although I knew we were having a party, I didn’t know that Jenn made it a “tie dye surprise” party, and that all of our friends came rocking their tie dyed shirts. We played music from the original Woodstock (as I was born 8/15/69, the first day of the festival), and it was a blast to be surrounded by such great friends.
2019 – the Big 5-0…..a day to truly remember. We spent the day in NYC, where I met my doppelgänger Al Roker, as well as Savannah Guthrie from the Today Show, and we went to a Yankees game, where I had my name on the Jumbotron for my birthday! It was a day that I’ll never forget! An added bonus birthday gift from Jenn – seeing David Sanborn, Marcus Miller and Bob James in concert the following week, and getting an awesome picture of me, David and Marcus after the concert!
Although COVID has put a damper on all of our lives this year, I look forward to a quiet, stay-at-home birthday this year. If all Jenn and I do is hang out at the StoweAway, I know that the day will be fantastic, especially as we’ll be together, and because she made my favorite birthday cake (chocolate with vanilla frosting)!!
I’m thankful that I’ve had my 51 trips around the sun, and so truly thankful and blessed to have such incredible family and friends! I’ll continue to write the blog, especially as it challenges me creatively, and it’s been such a wonderful outlet while not having any gigs for the foreseeable future. I look forward to what’s in store for me as a 51-year-old, and my birthday wish far above everything else this year is happiness and good health to everyone, as both of these have been very challenging this year.
Until next “year”, thank you all for your love and support! ❤️🎂😊🎉⭐️