Yep. That's right. Darlene Costner is 90 years old today and we're celebrating the beginning of her tenth decade.
Can you imagine?! And she's not the only one we will celebrate here this year (the next is a couple of months away) because it is a remarkable thing to get to 90 years on Earth and it cannot go by unsung.
Darlene is one of my oldest (heh – in at least two ways) internet friends – years and years now. She lives in Tucson and I live in Oregon and neither of us gets out and about much but that doesn't mean I don't love her dearly.
We keep in touch via email about this and that and Darlene keeps us all well supplied with funny, cute, odd, wonderful and interesting items for Saturday's Interesting Stuff. In fact, that would be a much poorer feature of this blog without Darlene's input.
If you follow her comments here, you know she is a fierce political progressive and anyone who thinks we mellow in old age hasn't met Darlene.
But wait, this is a celebration, so first we need a cake. I think this will do.
Did you know, Darlene, that The New Yorker magazine was born the same year as you, 1925? In celebration earlier this year, the magazine's cover tried out nine different fashion styles on their mascot, Eustace Tilly, taking him from his earliest elegant incarnation into a new 21st century hipster look on a February cover.
Every party needs some humor - birthdays most especially. American playwright Tennessee Williams, who was a 14 year old in 1925, published this little ditty, titled Kitchen Door Blues in 1946, about a 90-year-old.
Fred Carelli (I have no idea who he is) read the poem on Youtube. (Be patient with the music, the reading begins at :40 seconds in.) Here are the words for you to follow along:
My old lady died of a common cold.
She smoked cigars and was ninety years old.
She was thin as paper with the ribs of a kite,
And she flew out the kitchen door one night.
Now I'm no younger'n the old lady was,
When she lost gravitation, and I smoke cigars.
I feel sort of peaked, an' I look kinda pore,
So for God's sake, lock that kitchen door!
It's also a good idea, at a party, to have some singing. Eddie Cantor had a big hit in your birth year, Darlene, with If You Knew Susie. Now come on, everyone, I think we all know the words...
So big, happy birthday greetings, Darlene. I expect us all to be back here 10 years to the day for your 100th.