December 22-28, 1996: Christmas in North Carolina
October 22-27, 1996: Our Fall Trip to Big Bend National Park
Return to the Index for 1996

November 23, 1996
My 50th Birthday Party


Early November was uneventful, except that the project on which I was working for DRT moved from downtown to a location at Hillcrest and LBJ (much more convenient for me), and became “business casual” at the same time. Work continues to be normal as the database takes shape for the new software we are creating. In mid-November, Fred and I began planning for my 50th, which would be dinner with all our friends at Celebration on Saturday, followed by coffee and cake at my house.

There is no particular reason to put this picture first on this page, save for the fact that it records visually the fact that I have completed my first half-century. (And, I thought if I didn't get a picture of it soon, it would be much the worse for wear once we'd cut into it.

As usual, we got a cake from Sam’s Club- decorated for the occasion.

Most all our friends were in attendance. We had a fine dinner at Celebration, again, as at Fred's birthday earlier in the year, in a separate room at the restaurant, and then we returned to the house. (We completely forgot to take a camera to the restaurant, nor did we take a group picture of everyone present.)

We did, however, when we returned to the house, gather everyone together in my living room so we could take one of our traditional group pictures; this one had to be panoramic to get everyone in:

Seated (L-R): Brad, myself, Lynne, Chris and Nancy
Standing (L-R): Fred, Lowery, Ron Drew, Barbara, Ron Mathis, Bucky, Mike, Prudence and Ron Ruckman

Fred got a picture of me opening the small gifts that some folks brought. Fred had let everyone know the “theme” of the party, and so, consequently, I received a fair number of gag gifts, all reinforcing the "over the hill" theme. Some of the gifts weren't so much in that theme, though; in the picture at right I am accepting a stuffed bear from Lynne Richardson.

The gifts were all fun, although I must admit I was the object of a good many "old folks" jokes!

At left are myself, Prudence’s new friend Ron Ruckman, Ron Drew and Ron Mathis at my 50th birthday party. Have you picked up on the "theme" of the picture?

Ron Ruckman is new in our circle of friends. Prudence and Ron met at a local bar when she was out with some of her friends and he with his. I don’t know the whole story, but he was apparently quite forward in wanting to meet her, and took an initiative in doing so. Ron sells security systems, and perhaps this accounts for his energy, but he is very outgoing- quite the opposite of Prudence. Neither Fred nor I would have picked Ron as someone that Prudence would spend a lot of time with, but on thinking about it they are very complementary so far as personalities are concerned.

This is only the second or third time we’ve seen Ron, but already we can see a change in Prudence as Ron draws her out and she, herself, becomes more self-assured. Ron’s like Fred in that he talks a lot and it’s hard to find an opening to get some words in, and I think Prudence has discovered that, but she doesn’t mind (and he’s entertaining enough so that no one else does, either). Anyway, Ron seems to be good for Prudence, so we are all happy for her.

The only difficulty is that he makes the 4th “Ron” in our group, and that was the reason for this picture. For the longest time growing up and before I moved to Dallas, it was unusual to encounter another "Ron" even in a moderately large group of people. I understand it was a moderately popular baby name in the 1940s, but I think it fell out of favor in later years. I am 50, of course, while Ron Ruckman and Ron Drew are about 40, and Ron Mathis is in his 30s. So that's a pretty wide spread, and I guess the name isn't totally passé.

The last picture we took during the evening was this one that Fred got of me just prior to the “cutting of the cake”.

The party was really neat, and Fred helped immensely by doing a lot of the planning and rounding up all the guests, and so I thank him a great deal.

I mentioned, I think, that Fred had suggested that gifts and stuff be themed to someone reaching 50, and the balloons he got were definitely in that theme.

The day after the party, he had me pose with them.

Well, that was a milestone, I guess. Now I have 60 to look forward to. Bummer.

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

December 22-28, 1996: Christmas in North Carolina
October 22-27, 1996: Our Fall Trip to Big Bend National Park
Return to the Index for 1996