This is our week for parties of 90-somethings! Today we thought we were going to celebrate the 92nd birthday of our good friend Arthur Sullivan (left), who worked on the Lamplighters tech crew for many years. As it turns out, his birthday is next month and this was just a family party, but we were pleased to be included nonetheless.
Arthur and his partner Jim live in the hills above Milpitas....way above Milpitas. It's absolutely gorgeous countryside, dotted here and there with mansions, horses farms, and little places with chicken coops in their front yard.
After driving what seems like forever you make a turn and head down a half-mile road that is so rutted and narrow that if you are me (sitting in the passenger seat) you are convinced that the car is going to hit a hole on the edge and roll down the small cliff on the right.
But then you hit a gate and beyond that a paved road and anybody coming down that first half mile would be hard pressed to guess that this is what is waiting at the bottom.
This beautiful house has a huge deck that overlooks the hills and beyond, a beautiful hot tub, a barbeque area and an outbuilding where visitors can spend the night. There are alpaca in a paddock and cattle coming up to the house to check what's going on.
The dogs Maggie, the last in a line of beautiful retrievers, and the "puppy," Cooper, a Maremma Sheepdog, were very good about begging for treats.
Jim has a bountiful garden and has harvested lots and lots of tomatoes that he has shared with friends, neighbors, and charitable organizations. He made a huge bowl of tomatoes, salt and fresh basil for salad to accompany our dinner. As I have mentioned here many times my love for home grown tomatoes, I was literally in hog heaven!
I loved sitting and watching Walt, Arthur and our friend Gil, another long-time former member of the Lamplighters tech crew, reminiscing about old times on the crew, and putting together the set at the International Gilbert & Sullivan festival in Buxton, England.
There was lots of food. They had barbequed ham, lamb, and chicken and had lots of side dishes, including that wonderful tomato salad and a potato salad that looked like a cake.
After a lovely dinner and some dessert (ice cream and pumpkin pie) out in the barbeque area, we headed back up that rutted road and headed home. The road was a lot less scary when the car was tipping over toward the hills than toward the cliff!
On the way home, we saw a gorgeous harvest moon...I think this is the "once in a blue moon" everyone has been talking about.