BirthdayFest 2010

Now Playing: Atomic Power, by Uncle Tupelo. “Do you fear this man’s invention that they call atomic power? Are we all in great confusion? Do we know the time or hour When a terrible explosion May rain down upon our land, leaving horrible destruction, blotting out the works of man? Are you, are you ready for that great atomic power?”

I admit it. I’m still a child in some ways. OK, in many ways. I love superheroes – and still want to be one – enjoy cartoons – not just Looney Tunes, either, though I do love them – and nearly always put a black olive on my pinky before I eat it.

And I enjoy my birthday. Maybe even more than Christmas. Some (cough, Karen) would claim that’s because I’m the center of attention on the birthday, while Christmas is more of a shared thing. Maybe so.

But my love of my birthday wasn’t always that way. I can’t remember having a birthday party growing up. It just wasn’t the Murray way.

That changed when Karen came into my life. I must say here that she is the best person I know in keeping up with birthdays and celebrating them. (Though she does tend to occassionally have some unfortunate accidents in here celebrations. I might expand on that in a future post. Or not. I don’t want to sleep on the lawn again. At least not until it gets cooler.)

Anyway, three years, on my 50th, she and my wonderful neighbors got together to throw the “Big Pig Gig” on my birthday. It featured barbecue, beer, moonshine and all kinds of fun. I had a great time, and introduced three groups of friends to one another and watched them mesh perfectly.

That was maybe the best BirthdayFest of them all, BirthdayFest being the name of what I’ve tried to turn into a weeklong celebration. This year BirthdayFest didn’t start until Tuesday, the day my new mattress was delivered as kind of a birthday present to myself — not to mention my sweetie. Regular readers know I’ve suffered from insomnia for quite awhile. Let’s just say that insomnia may have been turned down a couple of notches, if the first couple of nights are any indication.

Tomorrow’s the actual birthday, and we’re going out to my new favorite restaurant in Charlotte – Encore. I can’t wait. And we’re getting together with the neighbors Sunday. Some might say it’s to celebrate Fourth of July — I prefer to think that we’re winding down the last day of BirthdayFest.

Even before the parties, I always enjoyed my birthday. It’s a special day, and not just because it’s the day I came into this world.

That’s the day President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. It outlawed unequal application of voter-registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and in places that served the general public.

I’m proud of that legacy.

“From our birthday, until we die, Is but the winking of an eye.” _ William Butler Yeats

“It takes a long time to become young.” _ Pablo Picasso


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