Tiger Tom's 80th party with family
Tiger Tom’s 80th birthday party with his family

So I’m coming up on 80 decades of childhood. I know, I know, it’s another milestone one is supposed to celebrate. I mean as a kid we always enjoyed birthdays. When you were seven and had a party. It was exciting. When eight, another party and just as exciting.   So OK, what’s the difference between 70 and 80? Just another birthday!  Let me alone and let’s have the cake and ice cream!

Well,  it’s not that easy. Between seven and eight, I played with my buddies.  But somewhere between eight and 80 I got a life and played with Sunbeams. With my wife Joanne, we  created the next generation who in turn has created another generation. Whew! And they are a great generation passing on the traditional values we all cherish.

The family got quiet.

But something happened approaching my 80th.  As a big kid, I knew/expected at least some ice cream and cake was on the way. That’s all I needed to warm the cockles of my heart. I’m a simple person. But the next generation, Melanie and Valerie and my wife Joanne conspired and said,” Keep Saturday 6 June open for a presentation.” I thought cool. I know when the cake and ice cream are being served.

They said it will be at the AACA Museum by the Hershey Kissmobile. I thought, really cool since a lot of birthday parties are there.   Then they said they sent out a APB (All Points Bulletin) for a “Drive-by.”  At this point I got scared.  Now “Drive-By” had a different meaning. At one time there were some unsavory characters in our midst and I wasn’t prepared for the Museum to be shot up if I was inside eating ice cream and cake. After all, there were some bridges burnt in the early TEAE days.   My ladies assured me that only the good guys in white hats would show up.  I felt better.

No ice cream OR cake!

So I arrived at the Museum on time with no one around except the family.  They tell me to park up front, shut up, sit down on the chair with balloons and OH BTW, there is no ice cream or cake. So WHAT’S UP I say! That’s when TEAE members, other friends, local neighbors, sports cars and old cars started showing up in front of the Hershey Kissmobile where I was able to greet each and everyone.  Friends rolled by for two hours just to see if I have grown up yet.   

It was my privilege and honor to know so many people cared to check on this guy. It warms the cockles of my heart more than ice cream and cake on a birthday. I’ll remember these moments and friends for as long as my memory holds up. ………….OH! That’s the second thing to go!

I can’t begin to expound on the humility I felt and still hold for such a showing of friends, some who traveled inter-state and hours just to say Happy Birthday young fell’a! Of course, it didn’t hurt that it was a terrific top- down sports- car-drive kind’a day either.  I would like to add that two friends drove several hours each way in a Tiger and a Jaguar twice because they got the date wrong. I’ll leave Jeff and Wayne’s last name off to protect them from embarrassment and severe humiliation.  

For those that have heard this before, I apologize!
You are 50, 60 or 70 years old. For those in the 80’s or 90’s, you are called 80 or 90yrs young.  See; Time does go backward. I refuse to grow up. I’ll wait for ya’.

Still plays with cars.

“Tiger Tom”  Ehrhart   

Members not pictured but also attended: Jackie & Joe Parlanti, Mike Smith, Sumra & Darlaine Manning, Tom & Kathy Calvert, Ken Bullough & Gina Gonzalez

Post tag