Party all weekend long doesn’t mean quite what it once did

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

After broiling in the hot summer sun – on a metal rack otherwise known as football bleachers – for a few hours, we were ready for a party.

We were in New York state for a niece’s high school graduation that turned out to be a barbecue – of the attendees – but we managed to survive the exposure and headed to Marty and Nydia’s for the party that followed.

My brother Jim and I had been drafted for the setup detail the day before, then again briefly in the morning before the graduation, but at least it gave us a chance to make sure the beer was on ice and would be nice and cold by the time we got the party started.

It seemed like everybody else had the same thing in line, because the line for the beer cooler was quickly longer than the line of graduates at the commencement ceremony.

More than a few people were tempted to dive right into the ice, but it wasn’t that big a cooler, so we all had to settle for a nice cold one instead.

There was plenty of shade to go around so, as long as the libations held out, we were fine.

We got to reunite with more than a few old friends from when we lived out in New York for a few years after we were first married.

That was nice, but it also was another unwelcome reminder of just how old we’re getting.

Two of our closest friends from those days, Ed and Louise, had their daughters with them – and their three grandsons.

All three of Ed and Louise’s grandsons are older than their daughters were when we used to have dinner at their place and then play board games, making up silly answers that cracked us up – and made their children wonder what the adults found so funny.

Maybe they know now.

Of course, we had our own grandson with us, to make everyone there who had known us so many years ago feel old as well.

Aiden was having a great time running around with and chasing his second cousins – his father’s cousins – and helping them try to catch his father with a water gun.

We wrapped that party up and proceeded on to another one the next day at Jim and Mary’s house.

The reason for this party was to recreate a new tradition in the family – the porch picture of the whole group at the old family homestead, where Jim and Mary now live.

The first one of them happened more than two dozen years ago and it’s been repeated off an on every time there’s another family gathering in Warwick.

Naturally, the cast has changed over the years, with some coming and some going, and they’ve gone from three generations to four and back now to three – where it will stay for a good many years.

The picture was at 3 in the afternoon, followed by another party.

That, in itself, was another indication of how old we’re all getting.

Back in the day, we probably would have been able to party through the night Saturday and then picked it up bright and early Sunday, but most of us are well past the bright and early days.

Instead, we wrapped up Saturday’s party in time to get back to Jim and Mary’s to watch the local fireworks Saturday night, then managed to get ourselves ready by picture party time – some of us more ready than others, naturally.


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