Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fifty Smifty: A Big Birthday Demands Big Celebrating!

I dragged myself out of my sister's house and my self-imposed quarantine on Friday to partake in a little pah-tay of the family kind.

I realized as I stepped out the front door that it was the first time I had left the house since the previous Saturday. Bronchitis is a bitch.

I felt pretty good, actually. Thank-you very much.

In reality, I would have had to been nearly bedridden to have missed this.

My niece Amy turned 50. Yes, I have a 50-year-old niece. I even have one older than that. I can't take credit of any of this; it was my sister's doing. In any event, my one niece turned 50 this month, my sister turned 75 and the same niece also happened to be celebrating her something-or-other anniversary on that day. The husband of my niece Wendy turned 41 the same day. There was lots going on.

Amy is one of those people who believes in going big or going home. She lives life with zest and will have a good time if it kills her and everyone around her. When I receive a text or an e-mail and see it's from her, I know I am about to laugh. She has my dad's sense of humor. Simply put: She cracks me up.

She decided you only turn 50 once in life, so you might as well do it up right. She rented a private room at an Albuquerque joint called O'Rielly's. It came with a full bar, two bartenders -- Mike and Rocky -- and a terrace with a fireplace. What a great facility!

Not to be outdone, her husband rented a stretch limo for 10 hours to haul the two of them, their two girls and the four of us from my sister's house to and from the event.

Our limo driver, Loretta, was too nice and put up with us without losing her smile or sense of humor. It was a challenge, I'm sure.

My sister and her husband aren't big drinkers. I think she was adopted. That's not really fair; I remember a day when they both held their own. They are just out of practice. A fate I don't ever intend to suffer. Even they consumed their ration of the bubbly.

I don't spend enough time in limos to be jaded by them. I still get a kick out of driving around in one. Mike had forfeited his security deposit so we could drink as we drove around. Not wanting that money to have been sacrificed in vain, we slurped champagne with gusto. We did have two non-drinkers who were pulling on glasses of sparkling juice.

We spent nearly two hours cruising around Albuquerque before finally coasting up to the bar's front door. There were only a couple of drunks staggering around in front of the joint to observe us as we dismounted our carriage. Sometimes ya gotta love South Florida where it's always warm enough for every joint to have a small crowd hanging outside its door.
It was a spectacular night of dinner, drinking, dancing and having fun. I have no clue how many guests came and went, but I suspect it was around 50 or 60 total.

I'm back in South Carolina now and recovering rather nicely. I have my eyes cast to the next big family blowout when my great niece and God daughter turns 21 in March.


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