We walked in together, and had hellos all around with the people already there. Jeff's brother Joe and his wife Janet were there, and his sister Joanne, with her husband.
Joe reminded me that the last time we were together, we had both just learned about Eva Cassidy, and that I had told Vivian about her, who told him about her, and when she did, he'd said, "I know who she is," to which Vivian replied, "You two would be the only two people who know about her."
I really like Joe and Janet. Joe complimented me on my dancing all night long (as did several other people, which warmed my heart), and at one point, I said to Janet, "I think you are just absolutely beautiful." She seemed genuinely shocked, and said, after sort of gulping, "Well, thank you. That comment just made my day."
The celebration was very nice, and "quintessential Vivian," with it being obvious that a ton of organizing and work had gone into it. There were three or four long tables strung together, covered with the "heavy hors d'oeuvres," a separate table with an ice chest beside it and soft drinks and the plates and plasticware on it.
There were either 8 or 10, I'm thinking 10, tables, five on each side of the hall, set diagonally, each with four chairs at them all on one side, facing the stage, where a live band performed. Each of the tables had a sign on them, which contained a year and a comment, such as,
Jeff was born this year.
Then taped onto each table were four or five sheets with other facts about things that happened that year, such as the top songs of that year, famous people born that year, the top headlines from that year, etc.
There was a separate room with a bar, and a wide-screen, flat-panel TV. They had a bartender, and she served your choice of unlimited beer (Bud Light on tap) or red or white wine. The TV wasn't on at the beginning of the evening, but ended up with the Braves game on it at some point. And mom and dad plopped down in front of it, shortly after that. :-)
The night was quite festive with various dancing going on as the band played a wide variety of music. I did a couple of two-steps with Vivian's boss, who is just a hoot. After a while, Vivian and I relived some disco dancing, complete with the pretzel, which fortunately she remembered how to do. At one point we did The Electric Slide, but not to The Electric Slide song, but to I think it was, "Brick House."
Vivian had compiled "life pictures" of Jeff onto a CD, and brought a projector from work to project the images up on the wall. Murphy's Law kicked in, and the damn projector wouldn't come on in spite of her testing it at least three times during the day with it working perfectly fine. The projector was only two weeks old, too. After many people trying, myself included, her trusted friend, Robin, volunteered to run back to ECU and get another one. Now that's a friend.
Once she returned, Vivian made a little speech thanking everyone for being there, and we viewed the slide show, which was quite fun. I'd never seen pictures of Jeff in his youth, and it was pretty wild. Someone yelled of one of his youth pictures, "That's when you had hair."
He stood up, put his back to the audience, bent over, and yelled, "Hey, I still have hair," and made a motion like he was going to expose his ass. Laughter all around.
After the slide show, we sang a rousing round of Happy Birthday, and they "let us eat cake."
At around 10:00, a little crowd of youngsters arrived, which Vivian and Jeff and arranged (and paid) to have take home partyers who had had too much to drink. You could either ride with one, while the other drove your car home, or ride with one driving your car while the other followed in order to then take the driver back. Great idea, and very thoughtful. Again, quintessential Vivian.
Mom and dad left at about 10:30, I think, and though we had planned to meet in the morning after our respective free breakfasts (they were staying at a different hotel), Mom said, "Why don't we do it another time?" So we called off breakfast, which I think was just as well, relieving a lot of logistics for everyone in the morning.
It was about, oh I don't know, I'd say maybe a 10-mile ride from the country club back to my hotel, and for about the last two miles, this cop stayed right behind me. Though, I'd only had about 2 or 3 beers (cups, not bottles) the whole night, it still had me on edge the entire time. Finally, he turned left at a place where I went straight, or rather, gayly forward.
At home, I changed my shirt, from one black one to another black one, and I headed up the street to Barcode, the new gay bar in Greenville. Just as I approached my car, my cell phone rang, and much to my surprise it was Sharon. She was calling me, at 11:30 at night, to tell me that she had just found the stamp for the postcard she mailed (for the book club) to me while on vacation. The stamp that, of course, should not be in her purse, but on the postcard. She was calling to warn me that I might receive the postcard with postage due. She cracks me up.
I had a little trouble finding the bar, mostly because I had a hard time seeing addresses on the buildings and houses. Eventually I found it and it was quite close to my hotel, which of course, is why Vivian recommended that hotel to begin with.
The bar was really cute, and they had a drag show at 12:30, which was pretty decent. The clientele, however, well let's say, take the average age of the clientele at Legends... and this would be their children. Very young crowd, and I would say 50/50 male/female, which I actually liked, though I think a lot of the women were straight. In fact, there were a few straight guys there, too, or so it seemed as they clenched the hands of their girlfriends walking around.
I sort of got the impression that it was this notion where it's "cool" for the youngsters to go to gay clubs now, and that it's just no big deal at all. I hope that's the case.
I left there shortly after the show ended, and hit the sack immediately. Out like a light.