There is a tradition Holland that suggests that when a
person turns 50 years of age, he/she will be visited by Abraham himself who is to
impart all the available wisdom to the birthday person.
It has been played out many times in the family and Abraham is usually
someone who has already been visited by the old prophet himself. In this case, Dominick
at the age of 16 was considered sufficiently wise to fill his shoes. In
addition, none of the Dutch relatives like Pete, Al, Ben Willy or Ted were
available to carry out this tradition.
On that that morning in Aug, Katie who worked with Henry at AIAG
(Automotive Industry Action Group), was exceptionally slow and for several
really dumb reasons could not be ready on time. This meant that we both
would be late to the office, not a habit to get into. Whatever I said, none
made a difference, we were going to be late.
Little did I realize that it was all part of a greater scheme: In the
office area my colleagues were busy decorating my office in "black". A black
cover on my desk, the chair, etc, etc. In addition they all were wearing
black outfits and a matching black name tag. All to further the notion
that the day's mood was to be closer to a funeral atmosphere than a
So, when we finally arrived there was not a single person
to be seen in the
office. Perfect, no one would realize that Katie had arrived late (she was
on the clock). I opened my office door and there was the entire staff,
cramped in the available space. Playing cemetery-like music on a radio. The
singing of a happy birthday song was accompanied by tears and loud wailing.
Happy Birthday !!!
It was quite a show and we all had a good time. Around lunch time there was another surprise for everyone there (except
Mary arrived with Abraham (Dominick). The tradition
was explained to the staff and Dominick (I mean Abraham) read the words of
the wise from an ancient scroll. A cake was served and all was well.
Best birthday ever!