Birthday Recalls

Do you remember where you were and how you celebrated your 21st birthday? Savanna and Diana wrote about their memories last week. I will never forget my 21st birthday, especially the car accident.

Like most moms, I’ve thrown my share of child birthday parties. Diana desired a party almost every single year. Some celebrations outshine others.

In regard to Savanna, a “Pocahontas” party stands out. Pocahontas herself showed up for crying out loud! Savanna was turning four-years-old. It was a gorgeous, 63-degree Atlanta afternoon in the middle of December. Colors of the Wind played from a boombox, little girls twirled and danced in the front yard.

Strangely, I also recall Jeff videotaping the party…catching noteworthy angles of Pocahontas’ ample upper torso :-).

You may have heard, Diana turned 21 last week. We threw a charming gathering with some of her Georgia Tech friends. Fried avocado tacos, pink champagne, plenty of laughter, and gifts for all was abundant.

I turned 21 in Atlanta, Georgia, 1983. I’d just returned to ATL after growing up in Portland, Oregon for 12 years (my journey was perpetually coast to coast and trans Atlantic). It was Monday night, March 14 and my mom’s friend, Linda, was in town from Portland. We’d lived this round in Atlanta for all of six months. Dad had already returned to the west, Utah. Our brand new, decorated, Dunwoody house was back on the market. Not surprisingly, my social life had yet to take off.

The Limelight, Atlanta’s Studio 54, was the place to party. So, that’s where Mom, Linda and I headed in the family, four-door, Ford Mercury. I was the driver — which was somewhat perplexing because back in Oregon I wasn’t allowed to drive the Ford Mercury.

Heading south on Roswell Road, one turns left onto infamous Piedmont Road toward “Disco Kroger.” A stone’s throw from making that left on to Piedmont, a fire engine stormed behind me, siren blaring. I signaled and rested on the right-hand curb just shy of the turn. As the fire truck blew by I was given instructions from Mother to “go, go, go.”  While acting, a fast-driving car flew by clipping the Ford Mercury’s bumper into a vertical direction. No one was hurt, however the car was rendered un-drivable. We continued to The Limelight via taxicab.

Savanna and Diana’s rendition of their 21st birthday celebrations make me happy and whole. Reflecting on my 21st birthday makes me squint and rub my temples in search of pressure release.

Thank you for reading!

Love, Shelley

NYC before heading to ATL 1982 – 20-years-old


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