Birthday Bash

Our 5 year old gardening buddy has a birthday next week, and asked his parents for a Gunsmoke themed party. He likes dressing up like a cowboy, and I assume his parents let him watch Gunsmoke reruns. His parents agreed, and his dad found a bunch of wooden pallets he is transforming into a boardwalk. There is a large sign the says Long Branch Saloon. I can hardly wait to see if anyone dresses up like Miss Kitty.

Our daughter also has a birthday in a couple of weeks. She always has anxiety over birthdays, I think stemming from anticipation over childhood parties. We never went so far as to recreate a film set, but she had some nice parties. She stated she has a number of birthday events scheduled by friends in the next two weeks. She is celebrating personally by having a different kind of hot dog a day for her birthday week. We never knew she even liked hot dogs.

My childhood parties were pretty tame, but I will never forget my heartbreak on my 8th birthday when my parents told me that we were moving to a new house in a different part of town, meaning I wouldn’t be next door to my best friend anymore.

What are some of your more memorable birthday parties? What events or celebrations do you dread? What would you wear to a Gunsmoke themed party? Plan your next birthday bash.

74 thoughts on “Birthday Bash”

  1. a cowboy hat an pair of boots and a bolo tie is where i’d start
    vest jeans and maybe a belt buckle to finish it off
    i could do with or without my 6 shooters strapped on
    i think i’d do my festus voice

    memorable parties nope
    family gatherings with a cake and ice cream are the deal
    party on the actual day are the requirement
    weekend before or after are not allowed
    always felt bad when i was in china and missed a birthday

    we used to celebrate nixon’s birthday with a black cake.
    we stopped

    we can now celebrate my daughter birthday june 14 and remember how glad we are trump is history
    his birthday is june 14th and has put a black mark on the day

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I do not think of that as an optimistic statement. History will record him as the worst of presidents, and possibly as a criminal president. His birthday will not be a national holiday.


    1. I read yesterday that bolo ties are a no-no if you want to be taken seriously as a cowboy in Wyoming. Of course, Gunsmoke doesn’t take place in Wyoming.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. in order to be taken seriously in wyoming the number one criteria is hatred of lgbtq anti muslim mexican african catholic premise and dick cheney adoration
        i’m fine not being a wyoming correct cowboy
        cody is a cool town but like salt lake city not right for me


  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    Renee and tim, there must be a stick horse to accompany the hat and six-shooters.

    What a fun theme. Miss Kitty came to mind as a character (not appropriate for a child’s party, but still!). The Madame’s dress, that big mole near her mouth, her uppity woman attitude, and the bouffant up-do that was way more 1960’s than 1870-1890 all give wonderful opportunity for a party costume.

    OK. So when pandemic isolation is over, the first thing we Baboons do is have a Gunsmoke party.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Last summer, my friend Sarah turned sixty. In celebration of that, she and her partner, Helen, along with three of Sarah’s older siblings went on a cattle drive near Sheridan, Wyoming. They were cowboys for a week, so to speak. Only one of them was an experienced rider, but Helen, who is 73 years old, had taken a couple of preparatory lessons in horseback riding before they went to Wyoming.

      As luck would have it, there were a couple of documentary film makers along in their group, and they’ve just sent them a link to the video they shot during their cattle drive. It was an adventure, the birthday celebration of Sarah’s life.

      Here’s a link to the video, which is rather long with too much talking by the videomakers to my liking, but it does show the grandeur of the Big Horns near Sheridan where they rode. I was thrilled to spot Sarah and her sister Suzanne on horseback in the film. I also spotted Helen ducking into a tent.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Early in the 1950’s my dad worked as the herd manager of the Amana Colonies (Iowa) collective herd. He had to ride a horse, which he hated and feared. He was, essentially, the head cowboy. That job did not last long. They felt isolated in the Amana Colonies, which at that time was an insular group of Germans invested in idealistic collective living, and outside of his job, no one would speak to them. Neither of my parents had anything good to say about that job. He was only there about 9 months and took a job in LeMars, Iowa for the Extension Service. HIs thoughts about the life of a cowboy were negative.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I was just down in that stretch of Iowa earlier this week (college visits for Ms. S, with a brief stop in What Cheer to visit a potter friend). As I drove through all those farm fields I wondered what it looked like before agriculture (and, as I learned from my potter friend, mining… ).

          Liked by 5 people

    2. The options for female Gunsmoke characters is limited. After Miss Kitty there are a couple of saloon girls and a couple of aged anonymous townswomen. I foresee a glut of Miss Kittys.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. There were a few female characters who died in childbirth or who were kidnapped by Natives. Matt Dillon had to rescue them. I guess you could expand with those. The Women of Gunsmoke faired much better than the women of Bonanza. Any woman who dared to fall in love with a Cartwright was doomed to certain death, because Lord knows they could not contaminate the set or the (wobbly) plots with a woman who appeared regularly. I wonder if there was a women’s restroom on the Bonanza set?

        Liked by 4 people

      2. The next most frequently recurring female was Ma Smalley- 13 episodes. That’s compared with 569 episodes for Miss Kitty.
        I’d like to see everyone come as Ma Smalley.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. Was it Chester or Festus who talked with a noticeable whine. If it was Chester, you will need to practice talking with a whine.


        1. That was Festus. “Awwww, Mistah Dillon . . .” Chester was played by Dennis Weaver, who auditioned for the show hoping to read the Matt Dillon role. He had mixed feelings about being cast as a sidekick. Festus was played by Ken Curtis, who had no pretensions about being the star. Dennis Weaver eventually got to be the star of a series: McCloud, the cowboy who ends up in New York City.

          Gunsmoke had aspirations to be a serious drama, with one consequence being they cast a really scuzzy bunch or bad guys with mental issues. Bruce Dern did four Gunsmoke scripts, all psychopaths. Charles Bronson did a Gunsmoke appearance as a crazed killer.

          Liked by 4 people

  3. I have no memory of ever seeing Gunsmoke. I know I must have, though, there’s no chance that I lived a whole year in Anne Garvin’s basement apartment in Cheyenne without having caught at least a glimpse of it. Anne had the television on from early in the day to late at night, so in all likelihood I’ve seen it, but truth be told, I get all of those old Western shows mixed up.

    That said, I’d come to a Gunsmoke themed party dressed as one of those fine ladies who must have come through Dodge in a stagecoach. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’d rather be a Calamity Jane type visitor.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. One of the more memorable birthdays that I can recall is one we put together for Darling Daughter – she wanted a Dr. Who themed party, so we got a cardboard cut-out of the TARDIS with one of the Doctors (I think it was Matt Smith), borrowed ice cube molds and made candy TARDIS-es and Daleks. I was tasked with making a TARDIS cake (“I don’t want a flat one, it needs to be 3-D, no rice krispies to make it stand up, marble please…”) – the one and only time I have used fondant, but also had the bright idea to use a little plastic cough syrup cup over a battery-operated tea light to make the light on the top. Everything was blue, to match the TARDIS. Daughter still knows to tread lightly before asking for another cake that requires that much work (and that many eggs – I think to make all the layers I used something like a dozen and a half, all yolks).

    Not sure what I would do if I got invited to a Gunsmoke party…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. one of my favorite off color jokes is a marshall dylan joke concerning festus and miss kitty

    we had a group years ago where we would sit around in a circle and just go around the circle telling jokes

    one of the funnest groups i was ever a part of

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Talking about slightly off color jokes, I’ll tell you one that’s a little risque in a minute, but first, here’s a little background which makes it even funnier.

      This is a joke husband wrote to his friend who is incarcerated in the federal prison Manci, Ohio. All letters and emails are censored, so you have to be careful what you write. Just a few minutes ago, we got an email from Dave, informing us that this joke made it through the censor, and has been the source of much hilarity among the inmates at the prison.

      Question: What’s better than roses on a piano?
      Answer: Tulips on an organ.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I had heard that one before, now that you say it, but since I cannot remember a joke for more than 5 minutes, each time I hear it is fresh and new.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. That sounds like so much fun, Renee! Let us know how it turns out. I had forgotten and had to look up Festus – maybe I didn’t watch as much Gunsmoke as I thought.

    I think I would come as Doc – I probably can come up with everything in the costume except the hat, and I can consult with tim for that.

    Birthday I remember best was when I was 6, probably since there was a real party, 3 little girls came besides my family, and there was a cake Mom had made, ,with circus animal crackers standing up on the top with the candles – it was on a lazy susan and spun around. There are photos.

    My next birthday will be just like the others of recent years – secret.


      1. That must be the one in which Dillon arrested a bunch of people at a party for fightin’ and wreckin’ and crammed them in the jailhouse, then the kids attacked with a tennis ball. One of my favorites.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Today I am perched on the sofa virtually attending a very dry conference in my role as a member of a regulatory board. I can see the activities next door and they provide some relief from the tedium.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. This is what it is like to be 78, friends. I have two checking accounts. One is feeling puny, so I need to use the other to pay my rent bill. But I can’t find the folder that holds all the blank checks.

    Although I live in two rooms, there are places here that I can’t explore because they are too high or too low. But I looked and looked. No checks.

    No problem. My daughter got permission to visit me, our third visit in 14 months. Yesterday the two of us searched the apartment for an hour. No joy.

    The worst part of this for me is shame over my stupidity. How could I throw out a folder of several hundred checks? I must have done so, for they sure aren’t here any more. But old people do dumb stuff, and then they can’t remember doing it. I was okay with this outwardly, but inside I felt humiliated. I just hate these CRS moments (Can’t Remember Shit).

    My daughter called yesterday. Turns out she had the checks all along! She doesn’t remember getting them, but at least I’m not the senile doofus I had concluded I was!

    Then . . . yesterday afternoon I couldn’t find my big skillet. It just seems gone, although it is a big thing, too big to fit in obscure places. I looked and looked. After all, I live in two rooms, so there aren’t many places it could be, right?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m trying to figure out why on earth you’d have two checking accounts. Seems to me it’s hard enough to keep tabs on one. As to having lost track of you skillet. Did you check the freezer or under your bed? Why you’d put it there, I have no clue, but stranger things have happened.


      1. Two checking accounts: that happened when we moved from Portland to Michigan. There was no WF bank in MI, so we opened an account. It made sense at the time.

        I’ll find the skillet!

        Incidentally, the checking account business was not brought about by being old. Anybody can lose something, especially if they’ve had four homes in five years. But when I couldn’t find the checks, I suddenly doubted my memories and was prepared to believe I’d thrown them out. For me, being my age means I often doubt myself. As a younger man I was more confident about many things.


    2. If it’s any consolation, Steve, Cynthia just reported on FB that she set her floor washing robot to work before going out to do some chores. When she came back in, the robot was gone. I’m hoping it shows up at my house.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. I don’t remember ever making an elaborate cake for son Joel, but I do remember a couple of his parties – we took 5 or 6 little boys swimming once at the Y. I think I’ve described the Treasure Hunt in the Snow party, and there was one sledding party… We usually aimed to wear them out before the indoor part of the gathering.

    The only time I planned a major party for self was my 39th – I knew I’d rather celebrate that than the 40th. A friend here celebrated her 70th recently and had a zoom dance party – it was surprisingly fun; got to see some acquaintances I hadn’t seen in a year; she’d put together her own playlist that came through well, and it was SORT of like dancing with people.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Morning all. Sorry I didn’t weigh in much yesterday but this is a topic on which I’m afraid if I got starte, you all would throw me off the trail after I had gone on and on and on. I love parties and celebrations. I must have had birthday parties as a child but obviously none of them were memorable because I can’t remember a single one. When YA was younger and willing to put up with this kind of thing, I was that mother that you hate. The one who pulls out all the stops, has crafts, sends home themed treat bags, and makes elaborate cakes, yes Anna, in 3-D. I told a friend once that I had to go for all of this gusto before YA hit 10 or 11 because then she wouldn’t allow it any longer. And I was correct. Although I am struggling right now with how to celebrate her graduate degree graduation next month. She has indicated that festivities would not be frowned upon.

    As to Gunsmoke I guess I could go as just about anyone, even Bruce Dern, although I would not like to go as the back end of the horse!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Hello–

    Was good to see a few of you yesterday. Sorry I forgot your eggs Jacque… D’oh!! Talk about a CRS moment. Nice to see our son and DiL too.

    I remember a couple birthday parties when I was 7 or 8. Just some cousins and playing leap frog. (There’s a couple photos and maybe that’s why I remember these particular photos) and then a party when I turned 25 with a lot of good people at our favorite restaurant and it was just a really nice time.
    We had a big gathering when my mom turned 90 a few years ago; that too was just a real nice time.

    I don’t remember much about Gunsmoke; didn’t watch it much I guess. I remember more about Bonanza. I remember McCloud, but didn’t watch it much.
    Then there’s ‘Conner MacLeod’ of the Clan MacLeod’ from the movie ‘Highlander’. He’s the life of the party! 😉

    Liked by 4 people

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