Thursday, November 1, 2012

Birthdays at Pilot Mountain School

Besides being All Saints Day and Halloween Recovery Day, this day, November first, is my birthday. I'm keeping it low keyed, a list of chores to do, lunch out with my husband, a dinner meeting this evening with my sorority sisters. Once upon a time I sat at home waiting for the phone call from my daughter and son. Now I am mobile and I go out and about with my cell phone ringer on its loudest notch, still waiting for the well wishes call from my daughter and son and now, grandchildren.

During the interviews for the Pilot Mountain School project, I caught several birthday stories and ran across several birthday photographs. One even ended up in the book itself, page 116, although I didn't identify it as a birthday party in the caption. Several pictures didn't make the cut, like this 1957 celebration, complete with the special soft drink, a rare treat for children of that era.

Or this photo given to me by a man in the community. His sister's birthday celebration didn't happen at school, but in a home, and I could not justify including it in the book, but doesn't this picture tell a story!

Fifty odd years have come and gone since these celebrations. The presents have long been forgotten, destroyed, tossed to the back of the closet, lost. The memories have been catalogued in the brains of these children, dragged out on command, or hidden so deep they will never surface.

Birthday parties for children of the fifties might not have had theme napkins or clowns and jumping machines, but deep down, deeper than the clothing, the haircuts, and the decorations (or lack thereof) there is no difference in a photograph of a 1957 birthday party and a 2012 birthday party. There is happiness and there is promise.

Hooray for birthdays, past, present and future.

Catch of the day,


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