I was fortunate and honored to photograph an 89th birthday party yesterday for the purpose of a family portrait. A big thanks goes out to my friend Cindy for hiring me to document the birthday of her dad, Frank. What an amazing guy! Frank and I got some “one-on-one” time while setting up my equipment and I enjoyed hearing him speak of his military career 70 YEARS AGO!! He laughed when telling me he started out in the Airforce but crashed a plane so he decided to join the Army instead (what perseverence!!). Frank told me several times that I would not be able to get him to smile so it became my goal to catch him smiling when he didn’t realize it. I spent two hours with the family and as I looked around the room, it was really sweet to realize that all the people around me were there because of Frank and his wonderful wife, Betty. Betty, Cindy and I sat together looking at old photographs and Betty giggled when I told her she really resembled Liz Taylor when she was younger. Sometimes I cannot believe how lucky I am to be able to be included as a guest at special events like this – for the sole purpose of documenting a very happy time. When Cindy and her family look back at the photos, they will remember a wonderful day in the life of Frank, Betty and their family. Betty and Frank have been married for over 50 years – since I am a “newlywed” in Frank’s eyes (almost 21 years for us) I decided I should ask Frank the secret of a happy marriage. It was shocking to hear him say almost the exact same words my grandfather told me just before I walked down the isle on my own wedding day! Frank said, “Well, I’ll tell you what (he took a big long drink of his Budweiser) — marriage is all 50/50 – sometimes you’ll get along, sometimes you won’t but you just have to stick together!!” Great advice Frank….spoken just like my grandfather.
After we all sang “Happy Birthday” and Frank blew out his birthday candles, he enjoyed a toast of jello shots with everyone. I want to be just like you when I’m 89, Frank! Beer, cake and jello shots!! Congratulations and I hope to be there on your 90th!!