How does one camouflage a surprise 80th birthday party? With the use of Charles Lindbergh and a history buff, of course.
For a couple of weeks, James and I have been working with a good friend who was planning an 80th birthday party for both of her California parents, who have been in the area for two weeks. How to keep everything a secret and not have either of them know until they actually walk into the decorated room?
Disguise it all under the ruse of a local history lecture by Gregory Humphrey. Of course, they wanted to attend a talk about the time Charles Limburgh flew into the airport at what is now South Town Mall. Who would not? (And they do know I am able to tell a good story about the things which warm my heart.)
So with a group of invited attendees for the party, food brought in with the aid of Hy-Vee catering, and balloons and decorations all about the scene was set. Walking into the Waunakee Village Center there were even signs up for the lecture—all to confirm that this indeed was a slice of history about to be regaled. The signs were placed on two floors.
Upon entering the room Roy and Linda were truly taken aback at the party atmosphere about to get underway. It was a perfect pretense to get them to their surprise party and the evening was delightful. Our friends swung and swayed as if Sammy Kaye were on stage again! A night of merriment and laughter, new friends and old ones, food and even some basketball as 80 years of life were celebrated. Roy and Linda have shown us all how to live life completely over the years.
But then Linda got up and announced she had come for a history lecture, and she was going to get one! I am not shy about an audience and much desire the chance to talk about history especially when there are kids willing to listen. So I was up and ready.
I unraveled the 1927 Lindbergh landing, along with his flying around the State Capitol, the city coming to a close for the day, his words at Camp Randall, his time in 1920 as a student at the university while living on Mills Street. I did it in quick fashion but with passion. My way, of course.
Birthdays and history make for a nice combination.