September 27 is a very important date in my family history; it is my birthday. My sister Flo said that I cried all day the day I was born and that the rest of the family has been crying ever since. I like to celebrate great events and I consider my birthday to be one of the greatest.
Our long-time friends Dave and Gail Eason came down on Monday to put the final additions on the special cake that Gail had created for my birthday party on Tuesday. Gail has been the cake maker/baker for our especial occasions for years. She does a fantastic job and gets better with each cake.
For my birthday, she made a “Monster Burger with Fries”; it was indeed fantabulously different and fundelicious. The cake probably became more the center of attention than I did on my birthday.
A description of the “Monster Burger” follows. The bun was composed of three thick layers. The layer on the bottom was sour cream pound cake. The middle layer was tasty chocolate. Fresh strawberry cake made the top of the bun with “sesame seeds” made of chocolate. The “lettuce” was gum paste tinted green; the “cheese” was chocolate tinted yellow and the “catsup” was chocolate tinted red. French fries were placed amply around the bottom of the “Monster Burger”. Brown decorator frosting covered the bun. Written artfully on the top of the bun, bright red lettering spelled out “Happy Birthday James Ellis”.
Gail took great pains to do the cake for my birthday and even a wordsmith like me finds it extremely difficult to express my appreciation for this dainty and ever so delectable cake.
Lots of people came to help me celebrate. In addition to the special cake, we had BBQ Texas style ribs saturated in JEB’s Old Fashioned Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce. The island breeze and the humidity were just right to saturate the neighborhood with the tantalizing aroma from ribs sizzling on the grill.
Pam and Randall Rehberg furnished an ample amount of their special succulent marinated shrimp. Boy howdy are they ever so flavorsome! There was an abundance of salads and slaws and scrumptious goodies.
The people gathered. Smiles and happy faces indicated that everyone was in a gleeful mood and ready for some delightful camaraderie and exciting cuisine. The men lounged around the grill and talked and cutup and carried on and had a happy time chatting about this and that. Loud laughter from the group was a sign of high spirits.
Inside, the girls happily put the finishing touches on the meal. They were having fun too. It was shaping up to be a great day. Celebrations at our place have outgrown the house so we have begun moving tables and chairs into the backyard and doing these fiestas picnic fashion.
The food was served. We circled under the carport, had the blessing and dived into the fare. For the next thirty minutes, there was glee and amusement and the sound of smacking lips as the party indulged in the luscious provisions.
Another treat was in store--a live band. Beau Taylor, a singing guitarist and his friend, banjo picker Bailey Joiner, would provide some lively picking and grinning for the affair. The lovely and talented Laurie Jo Upchurch who usually performs with the band was unable to be here this time because of sickness in her family so I gave her a rain check.
For at least an hour, Beau and his band entertained us and kept us absorbed in old favorite gospel songs as well as some much-loved classical country and western. Beau and his band are fun.
Billie June’s high school classmate, Becky Yarbrough was present. (I have known Becky longer than I have B. J. but that is another story.) There is never a dull moment when Becky is present. Therefore, while the music was going, Becky grabbed me to give me dancing lessons--jitterbug and shag. After a few steps, Becky said, “Maybe we had better do something slower”.
Later, we decided that tennis shoes on carpet were not for jitterbugging so we agreed to continue the lessons later with proper shoes on a hardwood floor.
“Am I too old for this?”
“No!” she assured me. “It just might take a little longer”.
It reminded me of something my father, who trained hunting dogs, always said, “You can teach an old dog new tricks but it takes longer.”
We will see.
So, now B. J. and I will be shopping for dancing shoes--maybe.
I would like to say a great big “THANK YOU!” to everyone who helped make my birthday celebration a happy and wonderful success.