October 5-6, 1996: Hiking in the Wichita Mountains
July 4-7, 1996: A Trip to Las Vegas
Return to the Index for 1996

August 3, 1996
Fred's Birthday Party


Fred’s actual birthday is August 6th, so we had a party for him at my house on Saturday the 3rd. I had asked Fred to bring his new cat, Tanner, down with him for the weekend so that everyone could see him (and we planned to go up to his house the next day to take him home and do some stuff up there). (You can visit the Miscellaneous Pictures page for 1996 and learn more about Tanner.)

As we try to do at all the gatherings we have, either Fred or I will take a group picture of everyone. Usually, we do these at home and use a tripod. For this gathering, we took the group picture at Celebration, the family restaurant up on Lover's Lane where we went for a birthday dinner.

Most of our friends were with us, and you can see everyone (except for me, the photographer) in the picture at left. Around the table, beginning to my left, are Ron Mathis; Jeffie, my niece; Nancy Lucas, Prudence's sister; Chris Young, Ron Mathis' partner; our friend Mike Racke; partners Ron Drew and Lowery Evans; Prudence Lucas and Fred. We had a really nice dinner here, and they put us, as you can see, in a room of our own. I thought about cooking, but Fred suggested this instead. It certainly makes the evening a lot less of a hassle when someone else prepares all the food. This is also one of Lowery’s favorite places, and as he is the pickiest eater of the bunch, a good choice.

I should have switched off with Fred and had him take a second picture so I could be in it, but I didn't. I did, however, take another picture of the group, but I think that the one above is the best of the two.

Best of all, though, was the panoramic group picture that we took when we all got back to the house. We even got Chip in the picture:

The rest of the pictures we took back at the house while we were having coffee and cake.

Before dinner, at the house, Tanner was a center of attention (although I tried to give equal time to Chip). The picture at right, of Prudence holding Tanner, is a good one of him (and not a bad one of Prudence). In asking Fred to bring Tanner down, I was also interested to see how Chip would react, as Jeffie had given me, for my last birthday, a certificate from the animal shelter for a free cat, and this was a good opportunity to see how Chip would get along with a new animal. While there wasn't any fighting or even much spewing, I could tell that Chip resented the intrusion, and was noticeably scarce during the gathering (which is quite unlike him). But then again, that is typical behavior when new pets are introduced into homes that already have one.

Tanner is already very lovable, and with only a little coaxing will likely become a lap cat- unlike either Calcitinas or Chip. Everyone seemed to enjoy him, and the telling thing was that he never tried to get away and hide- even after meeting so many new folks. Below are clickable thumbnails for some of the pictures we took that featured Tanner; two also have Prudence, one had Chris and the other has me:

Fred got another nice picture of Tanner; he was sitting on the kitchen floor looking up at the table with the cake on it when Fred snapped his portrait. You can see that picture here.

When returned from dinner, we all had a chance to sit around and converse. All these folks know each other, as they have all been at various kinds of parties together- not just at my house but at Ron and Chris's house in Plano and Lowery and Ron's houses in Grand Prairie and then in Irving.

Since Ron Mathis’ birthday is on August 1, Fred suggested that we get a cake to celebrate both of their birthdays together. (We often do the same thing for Greg, whose birthday is 4 days before my own.) As usual, the cake is a Sam’s original.

These birthday parties have become something of a ritual, and at each we try to take at least one photo of the whole crowd. There is usually a core of people at every one of them, but sometimes the minor players change. It is a good way to keep track of everyone. Sadly, I do not have those pictures that we took with Fred's camera and the tripod. I know we took them, because I have a picture of Fred getting set up to do so, but where they went I have no idea. I do have three candid shots of the party attendees, and you can click on the thumbnails below to have a look at them:

As I think is always the case, our friends like these gatherings, for it is a good time for us all to catch up on what is going on with each other. Our group has become fairly close-knit. I have two more photos from this evening that I want to include here.

Chip was not as gregarious with the group as usual- undoubtedly because of Tanner. But in the photo at right, he did sit down next to Jeffie and let her give him some attention.

During the gathering I thought of an interesting shot when I noticed on my bookshelf a volume that my sister had given me the year I got Chip, so I brought it out and set it vertically on the table. We put Tanner on the table by the book, and Fred got out a catnip mouse to attract his attention and keep him on the table. This turned out to be a fun picture, and Tanner cooperated nicely.

We had a nice time at this, the fourth birthday party that we have held at my house for Fred (his 42nd overall).

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.

October 5-6, 1996: Hiking in the Wichita Mountains
July 4-7, 1996: A Trip to Las Vegas
Return to the Index for 1996