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Late, but great letter; 90th birthday celebration big hit

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Mary O. Pinky Cooke sent me a belated congratulations on March 31 of this year, on my winning the 2018 Kingsdale Award presented at the Best of the Best ceremony last October.

Thank you, Pinky for the letter of last year. However, it got lost in the shuffle of the postponement along with the Best of the Best ceremony due to two hurricanes.

My son, Todd, who was going to head up the ceremony, sent everyone home after the storm knocked the power out during the meal provided by Charlie’s Kebabs and Big Al’s Barbecue. Everyone enjoyed the food and there was the possibility of power being restored initially from the power company. But after more trees came down and with evening darkness approaching, Todd called the event off in order for guests to be able to travel home while it was still light. Although the letter was belated, so was I after misplacing it for several weeks. So, here it is for you to see. It was addressed to me.

“I just found the October 18, 2018 issue of the Wake Forest Wake Weekly that I had tucked away. Congratulations on winning the 2018 Kingsdale Award. You have done so much for the town of Wake Forest, and it is very much appreciated. The edition also has a wonderful article about your fiftieth wedding anniversary. I Iove reading about your life with Peggy, who I will always remember as a dear friend. David and I celebrated our fiftieth in July 2017 ... a happy time.

I hope that you,Todd, and Clellie are enjoying a quieter lifestyle though I am delighted that you still have an article in the paper each week. Although there are advantages to change, it is nice to re-read your old articles and know your present thoughts. I hope that the rest of your family is also doing well. It is amazing how quickly grandchildren grow up!”

Thank you, Pinky, I also have many nice remembrances of you and your family.

I cannot pass up telling you about my celebration of my big 90th birthday last Thursday morning when at the Border Restaurant with my Thursday morning breakfast group which meets weekly for breakfast at the large round dining table.

First, let me tell you about the big surprise of a beautifully decorated 8-by-12 inch sheet birthday cake and an artfully decorated 12-inch helium balloon with “Happy Birthday” inscribed.

Attending were Bill Brown, Calvin Brantley Denton, Scott and Jennifer Harris, me and son, Todd as a special guest. Absent were Delores and Eddie Riggins, who were working at different jobs, George Macon and Steve Lowery, who are not members of the group, but regular customers at the restaurant, came over and wished me happy birthday.

Others either sending a card or a present were sons, Greg and significant other, Belinda; son, Jimmy and wife, Ginger; and son, Todd and family, and my special friend, Mavis.

The most unique gift came from Belinda and son, Greg: It was a navy blue T-shirt artfully inscribed in large white letters with: “AT 90, I’m Still Playing With A Full Deck” (picture of three aces and two kings with a line underneath and in italics): “I JUST SHUFFLE SLOWER.”

And then we sent a copy of my picture in my 1947 high school yearbook on Facebook with a brief message. We got 80 likes and 30 birthday wishes, and on Sunday we sent another picture of me, son Todd and his two daughters and one of his three sons, Jonathan, when we were at the Red Robin. This got 130 likes on Facebook and many more birthday wishes. Pretty amazing! Thank you all for making my 90th birthday very special.

Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites comments at 919-556-3059 or