Not to bore you with details but the menu was southern comfort through and through: thin sliced smoked ham, Vermont maple syrup laced with baked beans; collard greens infused with pepper bacon; wine and more wine; peach pie laden with birthday candles and what else? Real Southern Comfort.
War stories recounted years of coloured escapades kept secret and retold only amongst this small circle of precious friends. Birthday presents opened with no preservation of wrappings in mind then quickly shoved to dark recesses too embarrassing to share. A futile gesture.
Jokes bawdy and irreverent.
Tears of hilarious joy fell copiously down cheeks and into smiles.
How many times at a sit-down can you sing that happy birthday song?