Wow! What a 90th birthday party full of people and surprises, but no hangover.
First, I want to thank everyone who came to my birthday party at the Highland Country Club on Sunday afternoon. All those who gave donations to the Highland Area Community Foundation for Anderson Cemetery and Highland Area Christian Service Ministry (food pantry.) Almost $500 has been donated to date to these great local charities. Not to mention other gifts, gift cards and over 100 birthday cards, letters and phone calls. Thank you all very much.
The first surprise was our mayor, Joe Michaelis, walking into the open house with his gift from the city of Highland. Yes, the proclamation that June 28, 2015 was “Roland Harris Day.” Thanks, Joe. You made my day. You really added more icing to my cake. It will always be a treasured keepsake.
My second big surprise was the 28 St. Louis Cardinals baseball game tickets for July 2 — my actual birthday — purchased by our four sons for our adult family. We will be in Section 130 in our Cardinal red shirts, hoping to bring home a Cardinal victory. What a great idea for an old Cardinal fan. Go Cards!
Another big thanks to the Highland Country Club, Gary Bargetzi and Bruce Bellm. You were great! Also, thanks to Barbara Toussaint and her husband, John, with the assistance of Gary Deuser, who fried the chicken and made the slaw for our dinner.
Our daughter-in-law, Amber, Luke’s wife, made and decorated the large birthday cake, a Texas sheet cake, with the 90 candles. The candles were lit, and within seconds, all of the older great grandchildren and I were able to blow out all of the candles — before the fire department had to be called. Ninety candles on one cake was truly a surprise.
I had asked Amber to bake a birthday cake for the dinner, which we had at the Highland Country Club, before the reception. Amber had volunteered, with the help of her daughter, Kailey, to also make all of the other sheet cakes for the reception, with our newest granddaughter-in-law baking one at their new apartment. Thanks Amber, Kailey, Madison and Lorna. My wife, Lorna, also baked more than 400 cookies, brownies, plus some sugar-free cookies for me, for the reception. “Girls” you made my day a sweet day with all of your baking. Thanks!
We had really started celebrating on Saturday,at the 5 p.m. Mass. Then, at 6:30 p.m., it was dinner at Michael’s. Paul had arrived from Oregon; Mark, Mimi and Eileen from Winnetka; John and Sean from Affton; and Luke from Glen Carbon. Then, we went home for Lorna’s cookies, some ice cream, pictures and reminiscing. What a way to celebrate my 90th birthday.
The proclamation is the photo with this column, taken by Curt Libbra.