May 23, 2010

USA: He was quite the life of the party at my grandparents' 60th anniversary

WASHINGTON, DC / The Washington Post / First Person Singular / May 23, 2010

By John Stotz, Alexandria

I recently visited my grandparents in New Mexico to help celebrate their 60th anniversary. I had expected a low-key weekend, but it turned out that Grandma and Grandpa really knew how to throw a party. After having dinner with about 40 relatives and friends at their favorite Mexican restaurant, they invited their guests to their home, where we danced and shared more food in their sprawling back yard.

One of my aunts recorded some of the more memorable moments (such as Grandpa singing karaoke to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"). Our family is still talking about how much fun we had.

So, I was excited to see the video when my aunt uploaded some of the party clips to her Facebook page. As I watched, however, I noticed a man I did not recognize who kept popping up in the middle of all the main events. The man, who was merrily dancing and socializing, looked to be in his 30s or early 40s, and was dressed for the casual party in a T-shirt and jeans. I thought he might be an uncle I had never met, so I started asking my relatives about him. But my grandparents couldn't place him as a relative or friend, and nobody else in my family recognized him, either. An uncle said he had talked with the man at the party but that they had discussed baseball, and the man never gave his name. After scratching our heads, we concluded that the stranger had been a party crasher.

I hope he shows up for my grandparents' 61st anniversary -- because he was quite the life of the party. [rc]

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