What a spectacular time a group of us Gloucester chicks – and a few select men – had last Saturday celebrating the birthday of our dear friend and GHS alum, Christine Buckley. It was one of those “significant” birthdays that deserves more than just a dinner get together.
Why not celebrate on the ocean, we thought? How many of us grew up here and proclaim our love of the ocean, yet never actually get out on the water? Too many, certainly.
For the mere sum of $10 per person for the Best Party idea ever ( it was my idea so I could be a tad prejudice), we made arrangements to meet friends on the M/V Lady Jillian aka the Gloucester Harbor Water Shuttle.
Our illusory plan was that Chris would be meeting Diana Davis and myself at the Studio Restaurant for lunch. When the two of them arrived, I was stationed at the top of the shuttle ramp, dressed as a Mermaid with a sign proclaiming Ocean Wisdom. We told Chris that she was going for an ocean ride – and what a ride it turned out to be!
Besides the Studio, the shuttle stops at Harbor Loop. GHS Cheerleaders, Kathy (Johnson) Keefe and Holly Davis, in original outfits from many moons ago, greeted us at the dock with a lively cheer.
The third stop is St. Peter’s Landing and a smiling couple adorned in Sou’-wester fishing hats met us there – they were Chris’ daughter and son-in-law, Lars and Heather Muelle.
Now – Chris assumed this was it since we opened some bubbly (only paper cups – no glass onboard) and dove in to delicious snacks.
Chris had no idea we had ONE more Special Guest back at the Studio. It was Whoopi! The place was hysterically laughing, from the restaurant patrons to the surprised tourists sharing this wonderful day with us. Whoopi turned out to be a friend that Chris had not seen for far too long – our own beloved recently retired Director of the Sawyer Free Library – none other than Carol Gray!
I think that Captain Peter Favazza as well as the other guests had as much fun as we did! Stevie Douglas even came on board and recited from Longfellow’s “The Wreck of the Hesperus”; a nice touch from a star GHS hockey player from yonder years.
The Party Train kept moving and ended up at Mile Marker One. The surprises were not over. Who else but Cape Ann’s finest singer-songwriter, Chelsea Berry, would ride her bike over just to sing “Happy Birthday” to our Special friend? Chelsea also presented a gift to Chris from us; VIP tickets to her summer concert at Mile Marker One on July 25th.
The motley crew moved from here to a Buckley family party before we called it a day.
A Perfect Day for a Perfectly Wonderful Lady.