November 21, 2008. Most people know it as a date. Others may even know that it was a Friday. But, we at Southgate Coins, will forever know it as "a wild, crazy, and exciting day." It all started as a memo on our calendar that told us we would be celebrating Brittany’s Birthday, as well as be welcoming C4OA members for a mini-regional meeting. The day quickly turned from a marked date on the calendar to an actual event-filled affair. There were many smiling and happy people hanging around the store talking about their favorite subjects (mostly coins!); there were huge birthday balloons on display, and there was one sweet chocolate cake waiting to be presented. Yup, it was truly an unforgettable day. Read on for the full impact...
The day started out a little late for me (Crystal) because of my morning class, so I got to the store around 10:30 a.m. I had my little present for the birthday girl in tow, and “attempted” to hide the gift as I walked in; to no avail. The first thing I noticed as I walked in was a bouquet of balloons that Maya delivered earlier on behalf of Rusty and Marie, that included a monstrously huge “Happy Birthday” balloon in the middle. I don’t remember ever seeing a bigger balloon. Of course, Brittany was all smiles.
The day started off a little slow in terms of customer traffic, so we were all able to get some things done; but it did not last very long. "Why is that?" you may ask. Well, for one reason, it was because a lively tornado, otherwise known as Michael Parrott, came whirling in. A livelier man, I don’t think I’ve ever met. He seemed to truly like everyone he talked to, and he made us laugh and feel at ease.
For lunch, Rusty decided to spoil us with wonderful Italian food from the Olive Garden. Yum yum, they have awesome pizza! And, of course, since it was Brittany’s birthday, we had a ton of pictures to take and lots of fun decorations placed everywhere. It sure made it feel festive.
After lunch, the other C4OA members began filing in, starting with Paul Sudmeier, followed by Peter Matheu, and then Pete Plath. These members, plus the early bird Michael Parrott were invited to join in on our birthday celebration. It was about 4:15 p.m. and Maya and Rusty secretly got all of us filed to the back area, where we lit the birthday cake candles and started playing the birthday song (something from Sheriff John’s 1950’s collection) for Brittany’s 20th birthday. We all wore little birthday-cone-hats and Michael Parrott seemed to transform into our resident kazoo. And, of course, we took lots of pictures before and after the cake was cut, so we could preserve images of the nice, pretty, flowery design before it got destroyed by all of us who eagerly waited for a piece.
While everyone was enjoying the birthday cake and ice cream, our birthday girl Brittany finally got her presents. She first opened Maya’s gift. It was a little 1970 Boss Mustang GT replica. The color was the same as Brittany’s car, which got in a wreck just a few weeks ago. It was such a funny joke and Brittany couldn’t have been happier—unless maybe if it had been a real car instead of a replica. I presented the next present to Brittany. I got her one of her heroes in pillow form, Batman, the Dark Knight. Finally, she received her presents from Rusty and Marie, which included such a cute little stuffed doggy (that, to me, seemed to match the very dog on the birthday card. Was that on purpose or just ironic?), a cute little Christmas snow globe with Brittany’s name on it, and a DVD of Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger.
After presents, everyone finished their sweets and then it was Brittany’s time to leave since she had a movie date she needed to get to. Cara, Maya, and I cleaned the party area. Then, Rusty and the C4OAers all retired to the conference office (otherwise known as "Switzerland" in honor of Otto Klay) to "talk coins," all in anticipation of the dinner plans they had at 7:00. During this time, our two late C4OA members arrived: Otto Klay and Mitchell Yee. There were seven guys (dubbed, the "Magnificent 7" by Peter Matheu) crammed into the office and I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough chairs, but Marie made sure they all had a place to sit, so everyone could participate in the special show-and-tell session.
Finally, the day came to an end (at least for Marie and us girls). The store was back to normal and everything put away for the night. Cara, Maya, Marie, and I left the boys at the store to talk until the time came for them to head to the restaurant. For us the day was complete, and the C4OA members carried on with their socializing.
It was a day that was full of good friends and birthday cheer. I don’t know what better way to spend a day than that.
Now, here are the Birthday Girl’s (Brittany’s) thoughts on the whole occasion:
Wow! That is the best way to describe how I felt on Friday. I would have to say that my 20th birthday was by far the best I have had since my days of going to Chucky Cheese. Marie and Rusty are wonderful bosses for not only letting this celebration occur but also being the main planners of it. Thank you both very much! The other girls made it an awesome day too. Thank you, you three, you made this day very memorable to me! (Even without the presents, which were very thoughtful I must add.)
Having “The Guys” (C4OA members) here made the day even more eventful and full of life. I would also like to take the time to thank them all for being here and participating.
The cake was excellent. I love food, and it was one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. (Not to mention the fettuccini I had from Olive Garden.) I loved the balloons when I got to the store in the morning, it started my day with a smile, and I don’t think that it ever went away.
After work, my day just got better. I had a message from the insurance company saying that the accident I got in a few weeks ago, was the other driver’s fault. This provided me with enough money to buy a new car, which I bought the next day. I now own a 2001 Audi A4 and I couldn’t be more excited. (Sadly, though, it’s in Vegas, so I’ll have to wait a while before I start driving it. That’s okay, at least it’s mine!)
This was truly an unforgettable birthday, it doesn’t get much better then having friends, great bosses and a new car. I just wish that my family could have been here.
Thank you again to all who participated in this amazing day.
-Crystal and Brittany