I had the chance to photograph a 60th birthday party at the Pane Rustica Bakery (restaurant) in Tampa recently. I wondered what it would be like? I can recall my own grandfather's 60th birthday party long ago. We were all in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and were heading to the go-kart track, one of our favorite summer activities. Naturally, some bumping of karts took place. Well, on his 60th birthday party my grandfather was thrown out for bumping! It is a very good memory of him that I have put in the vault.
There were no go-karts inside the restaurant of course, and to my knowledge no one was thrown out. It was a formal, adult birthday party. There was one very nice homemade decoration on display, however. The photo posters showing family history were very interesting to me. I really like to look at old photos, especially family ones to see what places used to look like, to see what photo prints used to look like. Also, it took me some time to realize that the poster on the left did not in fact say "HAPPY GOTH" but rather "HAPPY 60th." I was really wondering where the goth connection was . . .
The event space was exceptionally dark, but one good thing it did have going for it was a very tall and wide room dividing gray curtain that could be pulled out and extended as necessary. It made for the perfect photography background. Whenever someone wanted a photo, I just pulled out the curtain and was able to get both a good exposure and a clean background.
I have mostly successfully avoided having an organized birthday party since I was 12 years old. Even as a kid I forbid the singing of the happy birthday song at my party. The cake was brought out in silence. Perhaps on my own 60th birthday party, should I be lucky enough to be able to attract such a large crowd of fans as seen above, I will yield and give a speech myself, though never to the birthday song! However, I am a big fan of birthday party games like pin the tale on the donkey, musical chairs, etc.
I wonder if any of the above photographs will end up on a future birthday poster for him, perhaps for his 75th birthday celebration? If I could, I would like to contact the person(s) who took the photographs on his 60th birthday poster and tell them that they did something valuable and continue to contribute to this person's life.