Friday, March 30, 2012

Nickie's 90th

On St. Patrick’s Day this year, Nickie Meek turned 90. The next day, we threw her a party that will be remembered in Yreka for years to come. I found an offshoot of the Southern Oregon Symphony who call themselves the Rogue Valley Sauerkrauts, a 17-piece German polka band, who insist on playing dressed to the nines in full lederhosen, and basically played the party for gas money and a free meal. They played for hours, delighting people from age 3-94, and when they were at their peak, there were at least 22 musicians, with a few extra sitting on the sidelines. I guess since the average age of the band was about 85, they needed a few backup in case a trombone player went down mid-song. Horn down! The polka must go on!

Nickie’s German roots run deep (unfortunately all the way to limburger cheese) and we managed to keep the band a secret until a few hours before the party started. She was surprised, elated, and had such a fun time. Half the fun was watching Nickie during the party, having a grand old time. Amanda put out cards for guests to write letters to Nickie and Connie put together a slideshow that left few dry eyes in the house. The musicians (who also opened a few beers along with the party guests) let Oliver and his cousins Lucas and Ella play the drums, the party was an absolute riot, and the birthday girl did the polka – at age 90.

A big highlight of the weekend for me was watching Oliver really connect with his cousins for the first time. They all at the age where they’re play-compatible and they played for hours on end, blissed out on each other’s presence. On Nickie’s birthday, at Brian and Connie’s house, Ella was holding Claire in a chair, looking all the portrait of beauty. Oli and Lucas came rambling up, babbling silliness and laughing with each other. They left almost immediately, and left a smile on my face. “Ella,” I said, “Someday you and Claire are going to play like Oliver and Lucas.” Ella looked at me with disapproval, and replied, deadpan, “I am never going to play like Oliver and Lucas.”

No comments: