Daily Dispatches from the Corner of 7th and Montana
Saturday, October 20, 2012
FLASH MOB FIESTA ... AT 7TH AND MONTANA!
Howard is All Ears
What do you get when you combine three birthdays, a derelict, a mariachi band and a flash mob? A party, 7th and Montana style, that's what. Today marked the celebration of Howard's 70th birthday and when you combine that with the fact that he shares the same birthday as his son, Greg, and his mother, otherwise known as Supernana, well, let's just say something extraordinary was in order. Howard's wife Cathy, daughter-in-law, Jude, and Greg cooked-up a plan so devious it belongs in the Surprise Party Hall of Fame. It went something like this:
"I Did it My Way ...!"
Greg disguised himself as a Local Loon, complete with a black fright wig and beard, sunglasses, two dogs, a pushcart and a ukulele. He arrived early and sat at the bus stop, blending in with the crowd. Meanwhile, at least 30 of Howard's friends and family, including Supernana, gathered in secret around the corner. A number of us 'regulars' arrived extra early and grabbed the "table of choice" near the bus stop. I should add that Jude, a TV producer, distributed manuals in advance that were so detailed and professional one would think we were planning the Invasion of Normandy. It all hinged on everything looking "normal."
Howard and Cathy arrived and took their seats, as usual ... and that's when the fun began. Greg grunted, danced and wobbled around the bus stop, acting increasingly demented, rocking-out to tunes only he could hear. "I hope he's listening to Jazz," said Howard, unaware it was his own son, "Maybe I should recruit him for the Vail Jazz Festival!" One by one, Howard's friends, people who usually don't go to 'Our Favorite Starbucks,' began walking by in a series of staged "coincidences" -- the Flash Mob -- until finally the jig was up. The full crowd swooped-in, Greg revealed his identity and everyone ripped off their jackets revealing that they were wearing "Happy Birthday Howard" Starbucks Shirts. A mariachi band materialized out of nowhere, playing Happy Birthday.
Three Generations, Same Birthday!
When they were done, the band played the only other English song they knew, "My Way," joined by Greg who still looked every inch the Loon. As Cathy later said, the song was completely appropriate for Howard, who truly has lived his first seven decades his way. It was, as the T-Shirts said, "The Best 6-Minute Birthday Party Ever." Congratulations, Howard, and many happy returns to you, Greg and Supernana!