#19 from Christine Skinkis 1-5-2021
Memorable 80th birthday from Christine Skinkis McNees
#18 from Ambrose/Donovan
#17 from Bob Roule
#16 from Thelma
#16 from Thelma
Subject: Thelma Wilson Lutes – 80th Birthday Party
On my birthday March 8, 2020, I had the surprise of my life. My daughter
Debbie and my son Donnie said, “What should we do for your 80th Birthday
Mom?” I replied “Just so we are all together, that’s all that matters.”
They decided to get in touch with my nephew Jerry who works at a restaurant
in Pittsburgh called “Osteria”. They are normally not open on Sundays but
they told me he was trying out a new Sunday brunch. My son and daughter in
law drove me down and when we walked in all I could see was my family.
They had balloons, flowers and decorations along with a beautiful cake. There
were 40 members of my family. Another surprise was my nephew Tony flew up
from Texas! He pretended to be my personal server! The food was absolutely
So that folks was my very first surprise birthday party and I’ll
treasure this forever! Thelma
Story #1 from Rosie
From Rosemary Bindi Sanderson
Re: My most memorable birthday.
Over the years, Sandy and I had owned 4 Volkswagen Beetles. At the time, while living in California he drove the Cadillac and I drove our “bug.” He knew I loved this car but he had problems with the stick shift and fitting in it as he was over 6 feet tall. Often he would say you should drive a nice compact or mid-size car. I would say “maybe some day.”
One day he called me at work to say that a fellow in his office was interested in buying a used VW and also interested in a Nissan but couldn’t decide. So we agreed to meet at the Nissan dealer.
We pulled in to the dealership and a salesman walked over to greet us. Sandy said “I am Al Sanderson and this is my wife, Rosie. We are waiting for someone that has been looking at a Nissan here and he wants me to look at it and get my opinion.”
Meanwhile, I said to Sandy and the salesman, “Oh look, there is a new car over there with a huge bow on it. I’ll bet someone is getting a new car for a gift!” The salesman smiled and said “Your name is Rosie, right?” I said “yes.” He said, “THAT new car is YOUR birthday gift!”. I was shocked! I looked quizzically at Sandy and he just smiled. What a thrill! (He pulled one over on me, which is hard to do!)
Unbeknown to me, Sandy had previously been to the Nissan dealer, bought this car and made up the story about the guy in his office that was car shopping. Pretty neat surprise, eh? Oh, it was a Nissan Maxima and I really enjoyed the car for years!
Story #2 from Norma
I have two birthdays to remember. Both involved Gene Haywood.
I met Gene on my 18th birthday. I was visiting a friend and he was their milkman! He told me later that when he saw me sitting on the couch in their living room, he thought, “That is the girl for me.”
Unfortunately that didn’t work out until 30 years later.
My 76th birthday was miserable. I had gone through 12 grueling radiation treatments. I was often sick to my stomach, could not taste anything and had lost 40 pounds. That day Gene went to Giant Eagle to stock up on groceries. When he came out of the kitchen he was carrying a cupcake with a candle in it. I was sitting on the couch in my nightgown with dirty hair and unbrushed teeth. What a birthday cake! I ate every crumb.
Story # 3 from Dennis March 20, 1940
March 20, 2020 was the Virus lock down day.
My 80th Birthday story is a simple one. I had to cancel my big-time Pittsburgh restaurant birthday party for 18 at https://www.grandconcourserestaurant.com/
My family and friends all RSVP’d that they would attend. I wonder,….. was it because it was my 80th, or because I was paying for a great dinner?
I then had to cancel a Florida trip with Lola to visit her 87 year old Mother who is doing well. Free room and board with warm weather would have been nice for a couple of weeks.
Housebound, and after doing face to face cell phone calls with family, my Birthday ended up to be a nice quiet day with Lola. She made me a 2 cupcake Birthday cake. We took a walk, raked some leaves, cooked together and had a nice dinner. She made my day most special….without the hoopla. ♥
Story #4 from Bob Roule
One might think that out of 80 birthdays more than one would jump out as being somewhat significant. I find that’s not the case.
The only birthday I can recall with any clarity was in 1956. Yes, you know that was the magic year when one could get a drivers license. I didn’t get my first license until 10 years later and it was issued by the state of Mississippi. But that’s a story for another time.
That year my birthday fell on Easter Sunday. That hasn’t happened before that year or since.
I had left church services and headed for Schwartz and Shaver drugstore for a little refreshment. In a booth I saw Marcia Papak and Gaynell Sheperd. I joined them and spent a pleasurable half hour or so.
For those who don’t see what the big deal was, all I can say is you had to be there.
Story #5 from Dave
I’d like to share a couple special birthday moments. My first was my 16th birthday when my father gave me a Winchester model 12 shotgun. It will stay in our family forever.
The second when with Elaine, our daughters, their husbands, and our grandsons celebrated my 60th birthday with dinner at the 95th restaurant in the John Hancock Tower in Chicago. We left Pittsburgh in 1962 and raised our family in Chicago. A special day.
Thanks for asking, and Happy Birthday to all who reach this milestone this year.
Story #6 from Barb Williams Jackson
I can’t remember that far back!!!! I know there were some special ones with Harry and lobster, and the sea shore, but I can’t remember any other specifics! But this last birthday was on Dec, 29th (Sunday) as my son from Texas had come up for a visit – Jay and Beth Jackson of Spring, TX. It was great fun to have all 4 sons and extended family in the same room. As soon as I can locate a picture, I’ll try to send one down. I didn’t get to stick around for cake as David had picked me up on his way to Ray’s from New Hampshire (3 hour drive) and there was an ice and snow storm headed in for the North east. So we left around 8 pm. and Ray froze the remaining German Chocolate cake and put it in my freezer.
A Memorable Event #7 from John Allen
I am a member of a fraternity of retired Naval Aviators, 150 Navy and 50 Marines, called the Golden Eagles. One of our distinguished members is a retired three star Marine General. When he was a young Marine Captain he flew helicopters in Viet Nam.
On one mission he was called upon to pick up some wounded Marines from a”hot LZ”, or landing zone that was under fire. While he was on the ground waiting for the Marines to be embarked, unknown to him, a Viet Cong somehow got on his helo. The VC was coming forward toward the cockpit when Fred, the pilot recognized what was happening. Fred took out his pistol and shot the VC, killing him.
Because the shooting took place on a US government airplane, a JAG (military lawyer) investigation was required. The lawyer conducting the investigation, after conversing with Fred said, “I understand why you shot the VC Captain, but why did you shoot him six times? Without hesitation, Fred said, “I only had six rounds in my pistol”.
That, my friends, is how my friend Fred got his call sign “Assassin”. His cool courage in tough situations is what got him his three stars.
Hope you all have a Happy Eightieth! John Allen
.Story #8 from Priscilla
My 43rd birthday is very memorable. My parents, our daughter, Max and I decided to go to the Jamboree in Wheeling, WV, for my birthday. We didn’t bother to check who was playing there and what a surprise we got.
Conway Twitty was there and we had 5 seats in balcony together. We had a great time and my father really enjoyed it as well as myself as Twitty was one of my favorites.
PS: Some of you know I have always been a country music lover which included Elvis.
I’ve enjoyed each of my birthdays, but none really stand out in my mind. Most of them included family gatherings with good food, drinks, conversation and birthday cake. There were special dinners at favorite restaurants and trips.
One year there was a trip to Vegas where I won $1,000.00 on a poker machine. I was actually dealt a royal flush!! Now, that was a memorable birthday!
In recent years I’ve had the privilege of celebrating each birthday with my grandson. Our birthdays are three days apart, and he loves celebrating together, even though I’ve told him many times he should have his own special day. He insists both our names be on the cake, and the family sings a double round of “Happy Birthday”. There isn’t anything more special than that.
Article #10 Phyllis Hann 2 Events
Memory #11 from Linda G H 4-14-2020
Olympic skating comments from Connie Mamie Vlah 4-20-2020
I remember that Torvill and Dean performance so well. It was beautiful and flawless. I was so excited to see them win the gold medal that year.
I’ve been a big fan of figure skating and have been following it for years. Love of the sport goes way back to my childhood. I remember one year when I was around 10 or 12 years old, I received a pair of ice skates for Christmas. When I tried them on, I was concerned that they were a bit short. I was so excited though that I didn’t want to tell my parents – I wanted to go ice skating! A few days later, Bryan Ellsworth and I went to the “frog pond” so I could try out my new skates. We skated until my toes were numb. I suffered in those skates for two winters! I didn’t dare tell my parents the skates didn’t fit.
My daughter loves ice skating too. We traveled to the National Ice Skating Championships for several years during the early 90s. We had the best times. Back in Pittsburgh, one evening we went to a “Celebrities on Ice” show at the Civic Arena where we had front-row seats. During Viktor Petrenko’s performance, he skated right up to my daughter and gave her a kiss on the cheek, and, if that wasn’t thrilling enough, Christopher Bowman then followed that with a big hug. She was “over the moon”. It certainly was a memorable evening.