Happy Birthday, Boppa!

Our dad loved his birthday and today just happens to be July 30 – practically a national holiday in the Ruffner household. A fuss was made, particularly after his three daughters geographically scattered and grandchildren arrived. “Boppa’s Birthda…

Our dad loved his birthday and today just happens to be July 30 – practically a national holiday in the Ruffner household.  A fuss was made, particularly after his three daughters geographically scattered and grandchildren arrived.  “Boppa’s Birthday”  was the focal point of the summer.  

His mother started it.  He was an only child, born twelve years into the marriage of his parents – enough said.   Here’s an invitation to the first “formal” party held to honor the occasion – his 4th birthday in 1920.  32 invited friends – and he wasn’t even in school yet!  

 

Bd1920_sm


Hard to top that, but we went with props (thanks to the leadership of oldest sister.)  There were special shirts in 1985.  During a routine backyard picnic, we staged our change-of-clothes until we were all dressed in blue, and even he couldn’t help but notice. 


Bd1985_2


Ten years later,  a picture from that year was reproduced on a shirt; here he is with the only grandchild who arrived after the blue-shirt birthday:

Bd1995bc

The following year, his 80th birthday celebrated in Lewes, Delaware, it was another special shirt, “I’m the Birthday Boy”:

Bd1996lewes

In 1998, oldest sister brought a crown and a granddaughter, really upping the ante:

Bd1998gbc

 

Of course, a stunning present, like this Pittsburgh Penguins jacket, was always a show-stopper:

Bd1993penguin_jacket_2


We had a very special birthday in 2000, our last one on Burton Street, with extended family and  gatherings at home (check out the flag!) and at the golf club, where a crown is always appropriate:

Bd2000golfclubBd2000gb


At Passavant Retirement Community in Zelienople, we added the funny paper plates:

Bd2003c

But the biggest moment every year was always the birthday cake candle photo-op.  

No more commentary, but enjoy the progression, from the grainy early shot from the 1970s to his last birthday in 2008 – the cake is right next to his glass of Guinness and he is once again accompanied by his youngest grandchild.

Happy Birthday, Boppa/Daddy/Jim.   Cake and Guinness all around!

Bd1975Bd1988Bd1990Bd1989bBd1991bBd2004Bd2007boppablowingBd2008

 

 

One thought on “Happy Birthday, Boppa!”

  1. Yes, still have the granddaughter. And a photo essay of her birthdays as well –none of which had 32 invitees.

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