The morning started off like a normal Saturday morning. I was in to work a little early to help out where I could as the Culver Football team was due in for breakfast (they won, by the way) and I was happy that Judy was going to be working today, covering for one of the girls as I was wondering how I was going to get her in otherwise for the big surprise that I had laid out for her in the early afternoon.
I told a few people that it was her birthday during the morning rush and when they asked what I was doing for it, I said, "Well, I put her to work on the floor.". Not wanting a huge crowd when I pulled off the surprise, I only told a chosen few who I thought might want to be there.
Midway through the morning with the excuse of a bank run, Trin and I ducked down to Safeway and picked up a dozen roses. I had the cashier, Chris, stash them behind his chair with instructions of when to hand them to me.
Around 12:30, my buddy Frank Patka showed up. His being there was as much support for me as it was another guitar back up. You see, Frank and I have pulled off a few of these kinds of things before and although I had already dedicated myself to doing this, I felt better having him around.
Richard Taelour, who brings us the bands three times a year and who plays at many local clubs came back to the office so that he and Frank could tune up their guitars. We attempted a practise run which was going well till the knock on the door. Trin told us we needed to move fast as Judy was on her way back. So, I just said, "Let's do this.", and off we went around the building.
As we walked in the front door and took our place on the side, I took notice that we were around two thirds full and I was thankful that was all as I did not want this distraction to hurt business. I was equally thankful that no one showed up for the next three minutes as we were blocking the entrance.
Judy was stuck. She was right in the middle of the room with no where to go. The look on her face was one of a deer caught up in headlights. I could see a sort of panic in her eyes as they teared up and I hoped that I was doing the right thing. I remember the conversation with all of the kids; she was either going to love it or hate it. But now there was no turning back.
As the guitars started playing she knew the song well. It was her favorite and had even asked me once if I would sing it with the band at the end of the summer cruise in. I had agreed to that night if she asked them to but she was too chicken to do so and I did not. But, what she didn't realize was that I had taken the words and changed them to her life. The song, "Wagon Wheel" had just been changed to "Judy Rocks Me".
As I sang, I was watching her and my first inclination was the husbandly instinct to attempt to protect her from the embarrassment. But I knew that what we were doing was right and so I just kept on singing and watching the tears in her eyes. I was told that some of the crowd started clapping to the tune but I was zoned and did not notice.
As my last words were sung and we wound down the song, I walked across the floor and gave her a big kiss and then I did hear the claps and cheers. We blew into "Happy Birthday" and I snuck over to Chris who gave me the flowers that I in turn delivered with another kiss. I then could see that we indeed had done the right thing. Judy was happy.
I lingered on the floor watching Judy get her congratulations from the crowd. Two ladies walked over and told me that I had just made their day. One of them yelled out, "You're my hero!" as I ducked back into the waitress station wanting all the attention directed towards her. I watched from my vantage point as she talked to various people with that big smile on her face that told me more than any thing else could.
We all had lunch together and then Judy, Trin, and I drove downtown where Carrie was taking pictures of various people to earn money for Christmas. While we watched, Jay told me of a candy store that he wanted to show me. Trin, Jay, and I walked over to the new candy store as Judy stayed behind watching Carrie's last shoot.
The new store was packed. We walked in and noticed that they sold Gelato. The store was so packed that we really couldn't get around very well and Judy and Carrie joined us as we looked over the Gelato case. They were all in metal containers so I asked if someone was in the back making them as they sold more. They told me that they had it brought in so I figured that they must have transferred it into the metal containers to make it look more fresh. I tried to pay the girl who scooped it up but she said that I had to pay the cashier. I walked over to the cashier and waited while a woman in front of me bought a small sack full of various candy. Her bill came to over sixty seven dollars. I then realized that the line was going out the front door. Unfortunately, there was now a huge line behind me also. I was very happy to find out that their were two cashiers there and one started taking my line while the other concentrated on the other line. As we walked back to the car, we openly discussed the new store and whether or not it could make it just a block and a half from the most popular candy and ice cream store in town. The last store of its kind was less than a block away and did not make it. I wish them well as I do all new endeavours.
The kids all met back at the house and we later went out for Chinese and ended up watching Indiana Jones. It was my fifth time watching it and I actually snuck off to check the Beaver and Blazer games during the middle of it.
After Carrie and Jay left, I felt drained so I gave Judy a good night kiss while her and Trin lay on the couch watching one of Trin's favorite shows. So, as usual, when I go off to sleep early, I awake early. But satisfied. Satisfied that Judy's birthday had gone off well and that she was happy.
If you end up reading this Babe as you sometimes do. Happy Birthday Sweetheart.......I Love You.