the Man Who Makes It Happen

Posted: June 13, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Sunday night we had a very special night.

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A very special night indeed.


Our family certainly has its fair share of eccentricities, but I assure you dressing up in random costumes doesn’t happen every year. Only for certain celebrations.


And celebrating 90 years of extraordinary life warrants some excess eccentricity in this familycomplete with costumes and a 40s themed surprise party in honor of our beloved G-Pa. Boy, was he surprised!

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My aunt has spent months planning this surprise party to honor G-Pa for his upcoming 90th birthday. She coordinated an entire theme around the 40s, my grandfather’s favorite time period and the “high time of his life”. We had mini gin martinis with olives – his signature drink, “brandy” and card tables, Sinatra, Navy memorabilia, old photos, and a spread of food apparently popular in the 40s.

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We started the night with the drinks and some appetizers. Gin martinis aren’t my thing so I stuck with water and tea. I also snagged a small appetizer plate of pickles, a few olives, mini-meatballs, an old style “pig in a blanket”, cheese and crackers, a pimento cheese celery stick, and shrimp cocktail.

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Then, we settled in for story time. My aunt had crafted a speech of sorts to go through various memories of my G-Pa’s life. It went all the way from his childhood through moments we have shared in recent years. Everyone had a part.

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My sister, cousin, and I got to recreate one of our most hilarious memories with G-Pa – the year of Hank’s Hoes!


Back story: The condos we stay in have footage of the entrance available for people to watch. Some “old bitties”, as my grandfather calls them, will watch this channel religiously to know the ins and outs of condo happenings. A few years ago, they saw my sister, cousin, and I come in from karaoke in jean skirts and tank tops and get off on the floor where our family stays. The following morning they reported to the managers that my grandfather had hired some hookers to come visit him – aka US.

We found it so hilarious that we decided to give the women something to really talk about. Us three girls dressed up with cut-off shirts, red bras, super short jean skirts, high heels, and over the top makeup. G-Pa then took us down right in front of the cameras, gave us each a bunch of cash, kissed us on the cheek, and sent us on our way. He then proceeded to tell everyone about how his three women left with a smile on their face. We stirred up a ruckus with that one, but the manager loves our family so much he just kept quiet and said he couldn’t judge our grandfather when the complaints started coming in. Hehe. I love that man and celebrating the years with him will no doubt remain the highlight of our trip this week.


Having the chance to honor him with a party highlights this trip. The many years and memories we have here at this beach would not be possible without him. He actually pays for our entire family to come here each year. He treats us to dinner every night. He laughs, loves, and inspires us through it all. I can only hope to live as full a life as he has.

  • If you had a themed party, what theme would you choose? I would probably go with the 80s…or a FRIENDS theme. I love that show too much.

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39 Comments to “the Man Who Makes It Happen”
  1. omgshhhh that is such a cute and swweeeet way to celebrate! I love how you guys went all out!! Gpa looks soo happy 😀 He’s so cute! hehe. that’s tooo hilarious! Hank’s Hoes….hahahaa

  2. LOL – what a GREAT story! I love this idea! We go to the same condo every year with my parents and I think this is a wonderful idea to use in the future! And the 40s are one of my favorite decades… I was born 40 years too late!

  3. I always find it fascinating how much people have seen when they have lived that long especially with all that new technology.

    They’ve seen it all! 😀

  4. haha that story is hilarious!!
    It sounds like you guys had a great time celebrating your Grandpas birthday. 🙂

  5. Jess says:

    That story is so funny!! Hahaha.

    90 is SO impressive. I hope he continues an exciting life for MANY more years <3

  6. That is such a funny story!! Your grandpa is a total badass 🙂

  7. Samantha says:

    I would DEFINITELY go with a FRIENDS theme. I’m still addicted to that show even though it hasn’t been on the air for years. I have all ten seasons on DVD haha.

    If I was forced to choose an alternate theme, I’d probably have a 90’s party. I’d definitely love to see guys dressed up as boy bands like Backstreet Boys and NSYNC!

  8. Happy Birthday to your grandpa! 🙂

    I’m always down for a good theme party…80s are definitely fun!

  9. 90 amazing years – happy birthday!! I love your memories — they are too funny!

  10. That is one heck of a story! too funny!

  11. Mandy says:

    Happy Birthday to your G-pa! 🙂

  12. AWww yay g-pa! This is so so cute!!! I’m a fan of the 00’s — I LOVED high school lol.

  13. Lee says:

    I remember you telling that story before. Too funny!

  14. Lauren says:

    This is so sweet. Your grandpa seems like such a sweet man and the world is lucky to have had him grace us for 90 amazing years!

  15. Dorry says:

    Love this! Reminds me of my grandfather and the way my sisters and I loved him so much! What a special memory. And seriously HILARIOUS story about the hookers. Hahahaha. Love that y’all recreated it.

  16. Priyanka says:

    that story is so funny!

  17. What an awesome story- put a smile on my face! And your g-pa does not look 90…

  18. Jess says:

    AWW!! I love this!! Happy 90th to your grandpa, that is the sweetest way to commemorate the occasion ever!

  19. Errign says:


    My grandpa celebrated his 80th last year & my grandmother & a few of her friends (all completely shmammered) dressed up as “dancing girls” because my grandfather used to always say he was calling the dancing girls as soon as we left or as soon as he got home, or whatever. 🙂

  20. hahahaha that story is too funny!! I love when people get into other people’s business and what they think is going on!

    Happy Birthday to your G-pa!

  21. Karen says:

    LOL! That is a great story!! Your grandfather sounds like a pretty cool guy!

  22. Emily says:

    That looks like such a fun party!! When my grammy turned 90 we had a “bee” themed party for “Bea-trice”! My 21st was a luau but I think my next party would be a black and white or something dressy and retro 🙂 Keep on enjoying your vacation, you deserve it!

  23. Okay, I absolutely love that story about you and your cousins and your grandpa. He sounds like such a character! I think that I would want to live in the 40’s too even though I’ve never experienced them!

  24. OK the story of Hank’s Hoes is hilarious!

    I love theme parties — 80s, costumes, anything. It is fun getting dressed up!

  25. That is the SWEETEST thing! Happy bday to your gpa!

  26. Aw, Happy Birthday to your G-Pa. What an awesome way to celebrate his life..

  27. Karolina says:

    Love the story of you 3 and your grandpa…HILARIOUS! It sounds like you had a fantastic party:)

  28. erica says:

    happy 90th birthday to your grandpa!!!

    omg, the hooker story is HILARIOUS! i was cracking up!!! if only there were cameras so you could see those “old bitties” expressions!!!! LOL.

  29. What a fun way to celebrate. My great grandfather lived to be 96…its amazing what all he has accomplished and because of him, what now exists.

    • Tina says:

      That’s like mine. Our family is here because of him, but also many many many parts of Atlanta. My grandfather was a highly sought after architect when the Atlanta area was building up. Cool to think his work will live on for a long time. Well….besides Fulton County stadium he designed that was eventually turned into a parking lot for the Braves’ stadium.

  30. Lisa says:

    ahhh i love this! it looked like you had so much fun!

    & as far as themed parties go (i grew up a 90’s kid) so maybe like all things 90’s related?! Nsync, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys. hahaha I would definitely be Ginger Spice! You might of just given me an idea for my halloween costume this year! 😀

  31. The Hank’s Hoes story is PRICELESS. I love how old people just throw caution to the wind and can get away with stuff like that. Being 90 automatically makes you a boss. Happy birthday to your grandpa!!

  32. What a great story! Your grandfather seems like an amazing person! I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation! 🙂

  33. Coco says:

    Gosh I am in tears (happy!) reading this. What a wonderful man, what a wonderful family.

  34. Evan Thomas says:

    Happy birthday to you grandpa!

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