Monday, November 28, 2011

Uncle Joe's 100th Birthday Party!!!

We had a big birthday to celebrate last night.  My Great Uncle, (my Mom's Uncle) turned 100!!!!!   We celebrated his big day at a family favorite place, The Crab Cooker.  When we arrived, the birthday boy was there, and some of our family members were already out front waiting for the rest.  Come meet my Uncle.  His name is Joseph Eugene Wright.  Or just Uncle Joe, as we call him. 
Since turning 100 is not a very common thing, they couldn't find balloons with the right number!  So instead, they got a 1, and two 0's.  It worked!
Uncle Joe is Nana's big brother.  If you are a regular visitor to my blog, you know Nana.  Nana is my Mom's mother.  My Grandma.  Joe is the oldest, at 100.  Nana is next at 97, and they have a little sister too!  Dorothy is 96 and lives in Colorado near her sons.  Yes, I would say that longevity runs in our family!!
Here we are gathering out in front of The Crab Cooker, waiting for our table inside.  It was such a warm evening, and so pretty with the Christmas decorations in the Enderle Center.
I LOVE the backdrop of this bright red wall at the restaurant!  I wish I had taken a group photo of all of us there.  Boy have we all sat on that bench a bunch of times, eating smoked albacore, and chowder, sipping wine, waiting for our table to be ready.
If you have never been to The Crab Cooker, it is a very interesting place.  Very casual, with delicious fresh fish, mesquite grilled.  The wall space is filled with interesting pictures, and the air space is filled with large things like this.
We have a big family.  But last night we had a smaller turnout, as all three of our kids were sick.  So there were 8 less from my family alone.  And some of the younger kids had to work, and two have recently moved to the Bay area, and some were still out of town for the holiday weekend. So this was actually a small group for us, believe it or not.
See, a small group.  Only 20 something, shy of about 15 of us.
My Uncle Joe, although frail of body, is extremely sharp of mind.  He can recall all the way back to when he was 3 years old, and Nana was born.  He can recall moving from his home in Oklahoma to Texas and then to California.  He remembers things in remarkable detail.  Joe was a musician.  He taught and played music for a living his whole life.  He can play just about every instrument you can think of.  We always say that is where our son must have gotten it.  Our son Drew is also a self taught musician.  No one else in the family can play a thing!  Uncle Joe was always a very proper person.  I always remember him in his holiday finery.  He always wore a suit and tie.  He would call my brothers and I by our full given names.  "Kristin Diane....MERRY CHRISTMAS" he would say!!  Here is a photo of me and my three brothers with our Uncle Joe.
That's our baby brother Tim in front, then the oldest brother David behind him, then me, and my second older brother Mark.  Do you think any of us look alike?
I was standing sort of behind my Uncle Joe taking photos of everyone at the table.  I love this one of him, holding his wine.
100 years.  Joe was born to Clara and Eltie Wright, in 1911 in Perry Oklahoma.  He moved to Texas when he was a little boy, and then to California in 1932. He lived in The Bay Area for some time, and then settled in Gardena California, which is where I always remember him living.  He earned his living teaching music.  He never owned a car.  He walked everywhere he needed to go.  He always wore a suit when going "to town."  He still hand wrote his own Christmas cards, his signature, Joseph E Wright, along with a treble clef, until only a couple of years ago.  He has always shared a very close relationship with his two sisters.  Here is a precious photo of he and my Nana last night.
And this one where they didn't know I was taking it.  They were deep in conversation.
Look at their hands.  I know that many people don't even know their grandparents, and elderly members of their family.  What a gift it is to have them and truly know them.  They have so much knowledge of life so long ago.  Where we came from.  What it was like way back then.  Before computers, cell phones...phones period!  They remember the first cars.  They remember hand cranking it to start.  A rumble seat in back, and long drives on upaved roads that took hours and hours to get to their destination.  They had no washing machines,  and dryers, they remember the first ice box to cool their food.   They walked to the market to buy food for a day or two.  They raised a lot of their own food on their property.  They were not wasteful.  They raised children without the conveniences of diapers, formula, and all of those things we know and use today that make our lives so much easier.  Knowing someone who lived for 100 years is truly a treasure!  And treasure trove of information!  My Mom is going to buy Uncle Joe a recording device so that he can record, in his own words, his life.   Wouldn't that be amazing!
Here are some random photos of some of us from last night at the party.  My niece Deanna with Uncle Joe.
My nephews, Joe and Tim.
My nephew Chad and his gorgeous gal, Santina!
My nephew Matt's pretty girlfriend, Candace.  She just turned 21 while we were up in the mountains the other day!
My sister in law Glenda with Uncle Joe.  I know she is going to be mad at me for posting this, but I love this picture!
Cheers Uncle Joe!  Here's to YOU!  Here's to your 100th Birthday!  
The entire restaurant joined us in singing Happy Birthday to Uncle Joe! 
They even gave him a Crab Cooker Tshirt!
After we ate, we took our group photo like we often do when we gather there to celebrate.  We always take it underneath The Crab Cooker sign outside.


Debbiedoo's blogging and blabbing said...

GO GO GO Uncle Joe! Happy Birthday! WOW, that is awesome.

Gloria said...

What nice and amazing post Kris:) I loved it and love un cle you, he look really cute, and a lovely and nice party, blessings to him, I enjoyed this post dear:)

vikki said...

Think of all the changes he has seen. WoW!! I am so glad you shared this with us..

The Garden Bell said...

What a beautiful smile and fun celebration of life. Looks like a great time was had by all. Hope you will now get some rest sweetie, before starting up for the next grand holiday affair.

Kerri said...

What a sweet man. Happy 100th to your Uncle Joe! I love all your pictures. And, I think you and your youngest brother have similiar eyes!

Lauri said...

It sounds like a fun celebration. What a lot of history resides with him...he has seen a lot of changes in his life time. How wonderful that he is still around to share that history with all of you.

~Niki~ said...

omgosh, what a sweet party for a sweet man! looks like a yummy place!

Sandy said...

Wow, 100 years old, that is so amazing! I really enjoyed reading this post! :)

by Teresa said...

*H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to Uncle Joe! That is so cool! We have longevity in our family, but it only stretches to the mid to late 80s. What a beautiful family you have! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Nicolle said...

Sweet post and beautiful photos! Happy 100th birthday Uncle Joe! :)

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Happy Birthday Uncle JOE! What a fabulous event to achieve, and looking so well. Love the hands too, and them talking. What a special occasion to be able to celebrate. Thanks for sharing. Happy week to you, xoRobin❤

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

How wonderful. You sure do have longevity in your family.

Genn said...

I really enjoyed reading this post!!
I am so sorry to have missed it.
What a reason to celebrate.
LOVED all of your photos.
That one of everyone raising their glass is great, and the ones of Nana and Joe are so good!!
You tell a great story with your photos Mom.

Heather - The Good Life said...

Sounds like a wonderful celebration. Happy Birthday to your uncle and best wishes for continued health and happiness.

megan said...

Such a sweet post! You are lucky to still have so many "mature" relatives ... I'm 29 and don't have any left!

❀❀❀Ðαωᾔ❀❀❀ said...

Aw, what a nice time. My grandpa is 92 and he recorded his life on CD for us all. He uses a computer. LOL Kris you look great in that outfit. Love your flower pin and scarf. Isn't it nice to have so many wonderful family memories? {hugs}

Jill said...

Happy birthday to Uncle Joe!!! 100 years is quite a milesstone! My great aunt Ollie lived to 103 and was sharp as ever! Still would bring out all her best dishes and serve up a full course meal when we would visit. They are truly a blessing! Have a wonderful week.


notes of sincerity said...

Oh wow. What a sweet post. :o) What a gentleman your dear uncle is! And such an honor to have one so dear in your lives! :o)

Debbie said...

WOW!! 100 years is truly amazing!! How wonderful for all of you. I can just imagine the stories he has. My step dad just turned 87, and he has alot of stories too. How I love to hear them. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Joe!!

He shares the same birthday as my son Joe!

Jann Olson said...

Wow Kris, what a celebration! Can you imagine, 100? There is a lady up the street from me that is 101 and lives along. Sometimes I take dinner into her. Her mind, like your uncle is sharp. One time she was writing a letter when I arrived. I could not believe how pretty her hand writing was. I would love to live long if my health was not too bad. Well girl, you may just do it. I can see that your family enjoys spending time together. Thank goodness mine is the same. I grew up with 3 brothers and 4 sisters. We have so much fun when we are all together. Happy Birthday to Uncle Joe!

Pam - diy Design Fanatic said...

Ah, what a great celebration! My large family all get together often in Southern California...something I miss having move to North Carolina 12 years ago. Your Uncle Joe (and Nana) have lived through a lot of history, for sure!

Suz said...

Happy Birthday to Uncle Joe...wonderful post and a fabulous family...loved reading this family gathering post
Hugs x

Whosyergurl said...

WOW! GOOD for Uncle Joe! That is a lot to celebrate! Looks like a fun party. How nice for all of you!
xo, Cheryl

Robyn said...

Hi there! I am new to your blog and I just loved this post about your Uncle Joe.. I so agree with you. He is a treasure to behold.. How blessed you are to have family members who live so long. They are living history.. God Bless and thank you for posting this so we could all enjoy it! :)