Friday, March 9, 2012

My Surprise Party

Saturday May 30, 1992

My Surprise Party

Up early in the kitchen making jello salad to take to the potluck at Shirley and Jim's tonight. I feel real good today. We arrive at Shirley's at 4 p.m. as requested. As we step in the door everyone yells surprise. I look at Frank, surprise who? "Happy Birthday" they yell, Me? No! My day was last Tuesday. I can't believe it! Luckily they are all standing in a half circle so I'm able to go around it hugging and kissing all my old and new friends and Gary and Maria (29 in all). I'm honored and thrilled! I can't believe they would all come for me! And Turners have spent alot of money on decorations and cake all decorated and tri-tip roast on the BBQ. It's a lovely evening I shall always remember.

Gene and Cathy arrive late. We 6 relax and talk with Turners. We leave at 9:00 and head for Gary's. Gene and Cathy want to see his new house. He and Maria are up but nearly asleep. We have a nice visit.

I don't remember ever having a birthday party as an adult and only one as a child. It rained my 12th birthday party away. We had planned to all go to Pops Willow Lake for a swim party. No rain this time. A glorious day--warm--not hot. All my old Valley friends were there, Myra, Jeanne, Linda and spouses, Carol, my friend from second grade on. Many square dance friends and our neighbors Doris and Helen. I love them all.

It brought tears to my eyes to know that her friends loved her so much that they planned this huge party to celebrate what would be her last birthday on earth. She was genuinely touched. To have had only one other birthday party in all her 58 years seems sad. Maybe that's why she made sure my brother and I had birthday parties every year until we were 10 or so. I remember Mom talking about Pops Willow Lake so I looked it up. It was a boating and swimming resort with a dance hall and cafe along Big Tujunga Wash, upstream from today's Hansen Dam. The lake was opened in 1931 by James A. (Pop) Gautier. It washed away in the 1938 flood that devastated the San Fernando Valley but was rebuilt in time for a young Marilyn Monroe (then Norma Jeane Baker of Van Nuys High School) to spend wartime dates there with her first husband, Jim Dougherty.

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