Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me / Dinner at Sullivan's

Here is my “long form” original birth certificate, copied and notarized sometime on December 6, 1974, the last digit is not that clear, could be ’73, ’75, or ‘79. I know that I am not supposed to put something like this on here, but I have nothing valuable to steal; being retired early on Disability; so I figured I’d put it up as an example of the details which used to be included in a standard Certificate of Birth. These old documents; like myself; contain bits and pieces of our past, which is what makes their preservation so important.

It’s interesting to see that my Dad was working as a draftsman for the Austin Company; they were working on cooling systems for jet aircraft. The company had a contract with the Air Force at the time, before the industry moved out West. This was before the 2 recessions of the Eisenhower Administrations, which was the only time I remember my Dad being unemployed. I was about 3, going on 4 at that time. Notice that there is no space provided for what the mother’s occupation might have been; just the implication that she was the mother.
Also of interest is the recording of the parent’s race. I don’t know if that is done anymore; or even whether that is legal; although I think it is pertinent. When tracing back the family history, the more facts available, the better. But, it’s a changing world.

It strikes me odd that they did not ask about the religion of the child. They must have assumed that; being born in a Catholic hospital; I must be Catholic. "Oy!", if they only knew. My parents were what were then referred to as a “mixed” marriage; that is, they were of different faiths. At a time when it was considered taboo for a Protestant to marry a Baptist; or for a Presbyterian to contemplate wedding an Episcopalian; they were breaking new ground. Only recently did I learn, from Aunt Gloria, that my parents were wed in a temple rather than a church. There are no photos that I have ever seen of the wedding ceremony; only photos taken in my Grandmother Marcus’ apartment, for the reception. In my mind, I had always assumed they had a Civil Ceremony in order to keep the peace within the family. Hey, live and learn.

Sue and I celebrated early this year, opting for dinner at Sullivan’s, the best restaurant in Charlotte, the other night. Sue had a wonderful steak, while I chose the Sea-bass.  We were treated royally; as is the “norm” for Sullivan’s; when you leave the restaurant, you always feel satisfied, with the food as well as the service. Our waiter, Corey, along with all the staff, made us feel “special”, in the way that only true professionals can. Thanks! We’ll see you again soon.

So, I’m 58, and feel like I’m going on 70. But my heart and mind are still going strong. I don’t enjoy the physical aspects of getting older; there’s not much I can do about that. However, with each passing year I learn something new about myself; as well as the people around me. Some things; even people; are good; and some are bad. I think that’s the most valuable lesson I have learned in my lifetime; even about myself. And, at 58 years old, I can live with that.

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