Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Papa, Welcome Home

Today would have been Dad's 69th birthday.

Yesterday Dad's ashes were delivered to Garrett's house.

I can only think of one birthday story for Dad.  We would often go to Owasippe on the last week of July and the first week of August.  This would include Dad's birthday very often.

At camp when one of the boys would have a birthday someone from that boy's troop would send the message to the staff to call the boy up on stage at dinner.

You see, at a dining hall camp, each meal had a show.  For breakfast there would be a wakeup song like, "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" or "The Grand Old Duke of York."  For lunch there would be maybe two songs and for dinner there would be a full show with a song and a skit.

Along with the program there would be "Staff Messages" (mustn't say, "announcements" because there is a long song that is launched into when an unsuspecting staff member uses the word).

So on Dad's birthdays one of the hapless staff members would go up on stage and say, "We have a birthday in the house."  At that point he might look at the note someone slipped him or repeat what he was told, "It is little Billy La Fleur's birthday, would Little Billy La Fleur come up on stage please."  With that Dad would stand up and go to the stage and tower over the startled staff member.

The idea of the whole thing is to embarrass some scout, but the tables would be turned and the staff member would find himself trying to lead a birthday song that goes, "Happy Birthday, ugh, Happy Birthday, ugh.  Death and misery in the air, people dying everywhere.  Happy Birthday, ugh, Happy birthday."

Then someone would shout, "To the lake!"  Meaning that the staffman should pick up the birthday boy, physically carry him to and throw him into the lake.  This would be when the staffman finally gave up.

Oh, did I mention that it was always Dad, himself that passed the note of the birthday boy, Little Billy La Fleur.

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