Sunday, July 16, 2006

My Very Special Day

Clay Aiken's American Idol 5 Finale appearance -- Graphic by A Beautiful Mind.

NAT Gathering Recalled

Memorable Events Mark Birthday

Monday, July 17, is my special day -- the anniversary of my birth. Through the years, the 17th has been marked by many memorable events.

My sister's first daughter was due around this date and, in fact, was born very late on July 16. When I spoke with the new mother in the hospital, her first words -- after 23 hours of labor -- were, "I tried to wait until the 17th, but the baby wouldn't!" Now that we live in the same area, we usually celebrate with a joint family dinner.

As a school girl, I remember envying those with September - May birthdays because their mothers could provide cupcakes for a full class celebration. I guess the tradeoff was that my summertime parties were always beach gatherings, complete with ocean waves, inner tubes, lunches of hot dogs, homemade chili, and a birthday cake with candles blowing in the midsummer breeze.

In Nashville, two musicians and I formed The Cambiata Trio, a chamber ensemble that performed everywhere from weddings and bridal shows to concerts in the park and the Governor's Mansion. The flautist, whose birthday is on the 13th, and I always celebrated this week by splitting the difference with lunch on the 15th. Those were very special times.

Clay Sings for NAT Birthday

This weekend is also the second anniversary of one of my happiest birthdays ever. In 2004, Clay not only came to Greensboro to sing for me on the eve of the 17th, but numerous fans who have become friends also gathered in my city for the Not a Tour Concert and a message board reunion. Prior to the show, we met for dinner and celebrated several July birthdays within our group. Here is a clickable of that special cake:

The NAT weekend's fun stories and "misadventures" began when I met some early arrivals for dinner on the 15th -- Anntherese54, Valeda, Wildaboutclay -- and we decided to tour the coliseum area for "dessert." After getting a load of Clay's name on the coliseum marquee, we located the road crew unloading the stage setup, but wisely decided to drive on by. After all, we didn't want to be banned form the next night's main event!

Super Sleuths Locate Buses

On the prowl for tour buses, we immediately spotted a pair in a hotel parking lot just down the road. There is nothing braver than a quartet of middle-aged Clay Aiken fans, so we parked right behind the second bus. While pondering our next move, we noticed someone walking toward the bus. My friend WAC hopped out of the car and promptly informed the young man we were CA fans and wondered if these were part of his entourage. From his accent, we amateur sleuths deduced that we had stumbled onto part of Cherie's group.

That weekend I played taxi driver to many and host to friends from both sides of the country, Canada, and Abu Dhabi.

PHOTO INTERMISSION: Today's clickable interlude features the graphics of Claystruck (1), Amazing_CA (2,3,5), and Invisible926 (4). Photos credits include Barb123 and Twicetreasured (1), Tasapio (2), and dc4clay (3).

A Poignant Reminder

Last year my birthday followed by two days the burial of the woman who gave me life, making the occasion all the more poignant. The leading character of my "Sail on, Silvergirl" blogs would have allowed me all of five minutes to ponder the sad correlation of the two events before tapping her toe, wagging a finger, and insisting that it is time to move on. And then she would add ... "Whatever!"

One of the kindest remembrances last year came from my San Jose sleuthing buddy, who had my avatar made into a key chain engraved "To Caro .. From WAC." This special gift was sitting in my mailbox when I returned home from my mother's funeral.

As Clay often says, CA fans are the best in the world. I could not be more grateful for the very special friendships we have formed and all that we share every day of the year because of him.



1 comment:

Claydreamer..."absolutely" said...

That was a beautiful story of a wonderful memory.. !! Thank you so much for sharing that with us. :) I hope the memories of Clay, the concerts, the friends and bonds you have made..somehow ease the pain from your loss of such a special person in your life.