The problem with going to birthday parties for people who have passed a certain age (whatever that age is), is that you're never sure if there will be one next year.
Last year we attended our friend Arthur's 84th birthday. He had recently had a fall and was looking frail, for the first time since I'd known him. I wondered if he would live to see his 85th. But there he was, looking like the old Arthur, holding court at his 85th birthday on Sunday.
He's always reminded me of a leprechaun, this Irish man from Boston, whom I have known for at least a couple of decades. We worked together at The Lamplighters (Gilbert & Sullivan theatre company in San Francisco). Walt worked with him on the tech crew for a long time.
Arthur and Jim found each other awhile back and have been together ever since. Jim is a retired physician who owns a house in town and a cattle ranch in the hills. We had never been to the ranch before, so it was fun to see it at the party. And fun to connect with old Lamplighters we rarely see any more.