Vintage 1913: Here's to Loraine!

“Now, I really don’t want to complain,”
Said the birthday girl known as Loraine,
“But that powerful twist
Of the cap in your fist,
Was a gift that upstaged the champagne!”
Although she asked for no gifts on her 100th birthday, I couldn’t resist giving Barry’s Grandma some champagne with custom labels celebrating the big day. After we admired them, I put them in her refrigerator. The next day, before we left for the airport, I asked if she’d like Barry to open one of them for her to enjoy later. “Oh, yes, yes, yes!” she said, delighted. It’s not that she can’t buy her own champagne, she just doesn’t have the hand strength to open it once she gets it home.

Two years ago, when she was only 98, I wrote about Loraine in a piece entitled, The Life of the Party. She is the inspiration for the infamous toast started by the late Bill Brown, “Here’s to Loraine,” which we have used all over the world whenever we drink something festive.

The Champagne de Loraine label: Vintage 1913

The Champagne de Loraine label: Vintage 1913


Meps and Grandma, with the champagne bottle

Meps and Grandma, with the Champagne de Loraine bottle


Sharon, Loraine, and Julie with 100th birthday cookies

Three generations celebrating the big day


Grandma's party

Grandma’s party. The critical grandson, who opened the champagne bottle, is Barry, second from the left!

He's got my number

A mysterious text message showed up on my cellphone yesterday:

There once was a gal named Meps
Who passed the awesomeness test
She has a birthday
And all I can say
May it be one of the best!

I have a “dumbphone” with no keyboard, but I laboriously typed this response:

Hey, your limerick-writing is slick,
And you thought you would play a fun trick.
An anonymous rhyme,
To my cell phone, this time:
But I figured it out: It was NICK!

He won’t be able to fool me again. I saved his number in my list of contacts under “Limerick Nick.”

What do you hear under the boat?

There once was a lady named Jacqui,
And her taste in small boats was not wacky.
She knows quick as a jig,
With her fine Freedom rig,
She can rotate the wheel and yell “Tackie!”

It’s her birthday today, and I wish,
That the day brings some cake in a dish,
And a stroll down the dock,
Where she hears, to her shock:
“Happy Birthday To You!” sung by fish.

There is a fish I call Harvey who hangs out under our boat and makes funny “groink” noises. We suspect he is a “croaker” or a “grunt,” as his ability to hold a tune is limited.

In other news, we heard some strange noises in our dinghy this morning, and I thought it was just the wave pattern. A few hours later, as we went to row ashore, Barry discovered a beautiful 12-inch fish in the bottom of the dinghy! If we’d realized that was the source of the earlier noise, we could have had fresh fish for breakfast.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

The term “elderly” isn’t the word,
For Da’oud, no, that’s much too absurd.
Though his birthday’s today,
If you asked, he would say,
The word “youngster” is greatly preferred.

This one is for my jeweler-artist friend, currently hanging his shingle at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. The twinkle in his eyes makes him look like a little kid with prematurely gray hair.

His name was so much fun to play with, I wrote a second limerick the next day:

A fellow I knew named Da’oud
Refused to eat all birthday food
He said, “I’ve been told,
…Eating cake makes you old.
And I’m an extremely young dude!”

Which is the younger sister?

Betcha can’t tell from the photos below. Happy Birthday to my favorite young woman in the whole world — you look awesome in that sweater!

I’ve a beautiful sis, Julie S.
And she’s older than me, I confess.
But my friends, they all say,
“She’s not fifty, NO WAY!”
It’s her wonderful life — free of stress.
Which is the younger sister?
Here are a couple of oldie-but-goodie photos of Julie from 1960. One is with Mom and one’s with her big sister, Daisy.
Mom and Julie, 1960 Julie and Daisy, 1960