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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« first aid, day 1 | Main | meeting Moira »

bdy bash report

Tom with cake

Photos today are from the surprise birthday party for Tom West, who turns 40 this month. I was still at the airport during the actual moment of surprise, but apparently he was, indeed, surprised.

The picture above is of Tom with one of his birthday cakes (there were two). Other people in the photo: Andy on the left, John and Mark (cake carriers), Christine playing "Happy Birthday" on the piano, Mrs. Sagara telling everyone to sing louder. :-)

Ross and me

Photo above is of me and Ross West. Last time I saw Ross West was when he was just a wee thing, Tom's little brother; I used to teach him flute lessons. Now he's taller than me! I confess I embarrassed myself when I first recognized Ross, openly gaping and saying, "Ross? No way. Ross?!" repeatedly. I'm sure he thought that old age had already started to eat away at my brain cells.

Ken Sagara

This is Mr. Sagara, Michelle's dad. I only see Michelle's parents at gatherings like this, maybe once or twice a year, but each time it feels as if no time has passed at all. Both have a wonderful sense of humour...but then again, they'd have to to be able to raise Michelle (sure hope Michelle isn't reading this :-D).
birthday crowd

I clearly remember when I met Tom for the first time. Twenty years ago, first year at the University of Toronto. I was having some weird truncation problem when trying to print code in one of my computer science classes, and friends recommended that I ask the computer room advisor about it. On that day, the advisor was Tom West, also nicknamed "Mr. Tom The Advisor"; he quickly became sucked into our tightly knit group of friends (or perhaps his group of friends merged with ours).

As far as I can tell, Tom hasn't changed at all since I first met him...he looks exactly the same. Somehow I suspect he'll look exactly the same twenty years from now. He and MIchelle were the first to get married from our group. Sometimes Jeff and I try to figure out the complex map of how we all got together, the various linkings-up within the group, and where we all ended up (Jeff remembers first meeting Tom in high school, for example). John Chew has done a pretty good job at sorting out everyone and their original connections in his Poslpeople list.

Tami and Megan

Mrs. Sagara holding Megan Kesner (daughter of Jeff and Gail, born Sept. 11th), the youngest attendee at Tom's birthday bash. I got to hold her for a little bit; she is VERY cute. It was amusing to see various mothers at the party hold her and reminisce about the days when their babies just lay there quietly, not getting into trouble.

Megan and I had a very interesting conversation, at least until she got bored and started wailing.

Michelle |AMP|amp; Tom

Michelle and the Guest of Honour, amused by an issue of The Electric Penguin. Jeff and I gave Tom old issues of Poslfit News and The Electric Penguin as a birthday gift, from years ago. Yes, that's the same Electric Penguin that inspired our domain, When we were back in university, I started up a print publication for my group of friends, continued it for years after we graduated. I keep meaning to start up an electronic version someday, but am leery about taking on too many new projects right now. :-)

Leaving for my first day on my First Aid/Rescuer course soon!

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