October 13: Sailing on Lake Lewisville
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November 23, 1985
My 39th Birthday Party


Grant likes to take every opportunity he can get to show off the house, and I like other people to see what he has done to it too. He also started a tradition of giving me a big birthday party last year when he threw one for me in Chicago, and the tradition continues here.

By this time, we have met quite a few people in Dallas. Of course, we know George, Bret and Richard, but there is Richard's girlfriend, our doctor Rob Henderson, Rich Olson and his friend Robert, and some people from the townhomes like Marge and Cruse Calahan. Greg was in town, and he brought his friend Darrell up from Austin as well. Grant prepared for this party for days, planning every detail. Greg and Darrell were staying with us, so before everyone arrived Greg took a few pictures of the preparations.

Here I am, cutting into a chicken at my birthday party to lay out the meat for the guests, who have yet to arrive. This is the table in the dining room, and as you can see Grant has coordinated every detail, right down to the napkins and the plates.

Here's Grant lighting some candles in the kitchen; I think he enjoys the preparation for these events more than the event itself. That is Greg's friend Darrell in the background.

Grant has had the wallpaper in the kitchen changed. It used to be a larger pattern in earth tones, but Grant thought that blue would be better. There is my large dining room table from Chicago. It really doesn't fit very well in the eating area, but it is OK. Grant went to the Party Bazaar and got the blue and white balloons- he has really paid attention to every detail. The only problem with Grant is that he wants everything to be perfect all the time, and since it never is, and since I never am, this causes him to be both hyperactive at times like these and not just a bit frustrated when everything doesn't go just perfectly. We also had the pot rack installed by the same friend that had the wallpaper done- Terry Leff. We met him through George, and he and his friend Bob run a small construction business, doing things like wallpaper, small renovation jobs, and the like.

Darrell Blandford relaxing in the family room over the garage, which we have as a bedroom. My cannonball bed is there, along with the dresser from Chicago and the small couch. My big television is in the corner, and we use this room as a spare bedroom. The wallpaper is the same as it was when we moved in. We aren't wild about the birds, but then the colors are right.

Here's my friend Greg in the doorway to the downstairs den. We had a construction firm build in some shelves and a desk area for the computer and most of my books. I should have taken some pictures of it during construction. You can't see the result in the dark behind Greg, but the room is now much more like a study.

The shelves, cabinets and desk are all of dark wood, and take up a whole inside wall. We also had the area around the windows paneled and had a small tier of shelves built across the front of the room. The whole feeling now is a very cozy one. The process of getting the work done was a hassle. The firm, Kountry Karpenter, started out OK, and worked with us on the design, but once construction got underway, it seemed as if there was one delay after another. We had to drive down to South Dallas at one point to see the guy personally to find out just when a certain delay was going to end. It was like pulling teeth to get the job finished, but when it was the result was a good one.

This is the family room; I use this room to store lots of clothes (Grant's fill most of the walk-in closet in the master bedroom, and I use my desk here to pay bills and such. Grant has put two prints by Yamagata over the fireplace, and put a coffee table of his between the couch and the fireplace. The curtains and window treatments have not been changed from those Mrs. Hawkins had.

This is the living room. Grant has redone the window curtains to a more neutral shade, and has filled the room with furniture of his and mine. The new furniture that he bought when he was helping me re-do my Chicago condo is in this room, as well as some of his Habersham Plantation furniture.

Many of the knickknacks and accessories are his or we have bought them since moving here. Grant is very good at decorating; I hope that he will eventually get a job in that area. Right now, though, he has gotten a job at Senco Fastenings, up in Carrollton, working as a customer service representative.

Here is Darrell again in the breakfast area in the kitchen; Grant has it decorated for the party.

The townhouse has a wet bar, so Grant thought it deserved a bartender, so through a friend at Senco he found Willie. Grant has certainly gone all out to make the party a success.

Grant hired Willie because he didn't want either of us to have to spend time fixing drinks (not that we would know how to fix them anyway). It was certainly a nice touch. We had about twenty-five people come through to visit, and the party was a huge success. I was so busy talking with our friends that I neglected to take pictures of the party itself. That is an oversight that I intend to remedy if we have future gatherings like this. My compliments to Grant for the huge success!


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October 13: Sailing on Lake Lewisville
Return to the Index for 1985