Don and his wife, Frani, invited his siblings, their spouses and any children still living at home to enjoy a birthday dinner in honor of the "BIG 5-0." We were treated to not only wonderful food, but wonderful company, great stories and a sense of history.
When Don was born, the 7th of seven, my Dad did not participate in his birth. He stayed at home taking care of the oldest six. I was rooting for a girl, and admit to being initially disappointed when the phone call came that we had another boy -- Boys 5, Girls 2. (In hindsight, that was the best possible outcome because what would a lone girl at the end of the line have done with no female siblings close in age).
We had a pattern of naming everyone with the same first initial. The first three boys were Tom, Tim and Ted and the two girls were Kathleen and Karen. Mom wasn't really in love with any more names that started with a "T", so when Dan came along, she switched to "D". Don followed that pattern. Our "common" names were somewhat intentional. Mom always said that she wasn't going to give us "unusual" first names to balance out our "common" last name (Jones). I can't say we followed that "rule" in the next generation.
Don asked me to tell the "potato" story. With Mom in the hospital giving birth, Dad asked me to ride my bike to the grocery store and buy some potatoes. He gave me a dollar. In 1961, 25 pounds of potatoes could be purchased for 99 cents -- and that's exactly what I bought. I struggled to balance this sack of potatoes on my bike, but I successfully got home with all 25 pounds of them. I don't think that's what Dad had in mind.
Just before we cut the cake, we asked our waitress to take a picture of those in attendance. We then had to sing the "Jones Version" of Happy Birthday, complete with harmony and a second song. The verse of the second song has these lyrics:
|Don, Haley and Frani|
|Sally and Ted|