June 28-29 my whole family gathered here
to celebrate my 80th birthday with me. Actually,
Katie and her two sons Zach and Nick had been
here sinc the previous Saturday, June 20, as
the two boys were enriolled in the Virginia
Tech basketball camp, so we had a mini
celebration with them on the previous Sunday,
June 21, my actual birthday. Some pix from then:

Zach was happy to have his own laptop to use.
(I have three.)

And so was Nick:

This is the sign that Katie got for me and hung outside
the front door:

We had our mini party on the back porch, Here are several
pix of me opening cards and presents. As usual I got
booze, Campari and Courvoisier that night (and the next
weekend Mosel wine and champagne).

I also got a Virginia Tech straw hat: (That's a vintage
Veuve Cliquot, supplied by Kathy, in the glass.)

And VA Tech undershorts, which I posed with on my head:

Here I am with Nick, and his shirt. Kathy gave me the
Courvoisier which I have been enjoying:

Here are some shots of the basketball camp, which Zach
and Nick both attended for the second straight year.
It's held in the Tech basketball facility, Cassel Coliseum:

This is the end of the camp; diplomas are being passe
out. The fellow standing is a member of the VA Tech
team. Lots ot the Tech players were helping out at the
camp, and it was a thrill for the young kids to get to know them.

Of course, Coach Greenberg was there too. He ran the camp:

Here Nick is scrimmaging. He's to the far left, as a "skin."

Here he's dribbling:

Here are Nick and Zach in line to practice free throws:

Some of the Tech players watching:

Zach dribbling (his back is to you):

Going for a rebound:

And making a layup:

After the basketball camp. Zach spent one day at
the Tech soccer camp, but he injured a tendon
and had to drop out. Saturday saw the arrivals
of Tim, Katie's husband, Christen and her husband Miles
as well as their three children Jimmy, Sarah and
Mac, as well as Evan and Kelly from Colorado with
their two, Spencer and Bailey. Bailey had just returned
from a month-long stay in Japan, so it was a heroic effort
for her to get organized in two days and fly to Virginia.
She is entering her junior year in high school this fall,
and somehow managed to teach herself to speak Japanes
during the past school year. She then went to Japan (with
a group) in order to practice it and did very well. She also
speaks French, better than I do, I have to admit, as I discovered
when we carried on a few conversations in that language.
Feza and Heather arrived from Cleveland Sunday afternoon
as they had musical commitments on Saturday.

Here are some pictures from the second weekend. First Baily,
Heather and Kelly chatting on the porch:

Christen and Bailey:

Christen and Sarah:

Evan and Feza:

Evan and Sarah watching TV:

Ditto Feza and Miles:

Feza eventually conked out:

Tim decided to relax as well:

Grandchildren Sarh, Nick, Bailey, Mac and Spencer:

That's Tim, barely visible to the left with Feza, Heather and Miles:

Kelly with Miles and Sarah:

Kathy and Kelly amused about something:

Katie, Christen and Bailey enjoying the porch:

Katie and Tim:

Now for the trditional "stair" pictures. We first took a picture
of the four of them on our stair case when about 35 years
ago, and have been repeating it whenever everyone gets
together. We as also photographing the grandchildren
on the stairs.

Nick and Mac enjoying the TV in our bedroom:

Here they're joined by Spencer and Bailey:

They decide to watch TV together:

(We made them change the channel when we saw they
were watching "The fourty-year-old Virgin." Mac protested:
"What's wrong with the forty-year-ole Virginian?")

Pretty soon everyone deserted poor Nick:

Pretty soon it was time for the birthday buffet and
presents. Dear friend Marylou arrived with the purple
cake she baked, having ascertained that purple was my
favorite color. Here she is with Kathy:

And here's the cake:

I tried to blow out the candles, but Kathy had gotten
the trick kind that kept relighting, making me a laughing stock:

Here I'm reading my birthday cards:

Jimmy gave me a beautiful crayon drawing of a piece of fruit
that I had admired in the Whitten's house. It is now hanging
in our living room. (It won a prize in his school's art show.)

Feza and Heather gave me about six bottles of wine,
some Riesling, including Kabinett, Spaelese, Auslese,
a couple of icewines (one from Ohio which I have
already drunk part of; it is fabulous) and a vin santo
from Italy. By the way, in the glass is the 1976 Ch. D'Yquem
that I have been saving for 40 years, and which Kathy
and Feza decided should be opened for my 80th.
They were right; it was delicious.

Here is the vintage champage that
the Whittens gave me:

Next to the champage a Lagavulan 16 from the Clements.

More presents:

We went outside for a family portrait, graciously taken
by Maryou using my camera:

And a picture of the Evan Zweifel family. This was taken at
the motel where the parents were staying while Kathy
and I hd the pleasure of the grandchildren's company
at our house. We met at the motel Monday evening and
then all went to dinner at a new restaurant, Bull and Bones,
in Blacksburg. It specializes in things like ribs, barbecue,
etc. and was really great! We had our own private dining
room. In the motel, where Katie and Tim had a suite,
we partied before and after the dinner:

Kathy sporting a red dress.

Here we are together:

I don't know what's so funny here, but Kathy at least seems

Here are a bunch of pictures taken at the restaurant, most of
them by Feza. First, the sign was taken there from our house:

Kathy weems to be berating her two daughters, as usual!

What is Katie saying to Bailey?

The grandchildren who were mostly at a separate
table, felt the need to clown:

Here they're more serious:

Deciding what to eat. So many choices!

Miles ate ate the kids' table to provide some semblance
of ordre. Here he is with his two older children, Sarah
and Jimmy.

Zach practicing to be a fireperson:

Eventually we got back to the motel to have the desserts that
Baily had bropught us all the way from Japan. She emailed me
while she was there, asking how many people would
be attending, and brought enough for everyone. As you
can see from these pictures, they were wildly popular,
although nobody was sure what he or she was eating (dried
eel anyone?):

Eventually there was a mob scene of people trying to
get more, Thank you Bailey for bringing us a real
taste of Japan. And thank you to all my family members
who combined to make this a week to remember. And
thank you to my long-suffering wife Kathy who almost
went crazy trying to organize everything, what a show'
of love. And thank you to our daughter Katie who
appeared on the scene a week early and almost
singlehandedly got the house organized for all the
visitors (including changing all the batteies in the
smoke detectors). To one an all, I love you dearly
and thanks for everything.

I have rushed to get this posted before leaving for
Italy and Japan tomorrow, so there may well be
errors. I haven's time for proofreading. I may have
missed some pictrures in the rus; if so, I will
get them posted when I return,