The road ends, but the journey continues...

Sixty Pho' part two

Back to that postcard…not only did the poster quote aspect of the card resonate with my style sensibilities but it triggered a punny approach in recounting a recent milestone event in my life (as reflected in the post title). Can you guess, yet, what that might be? Hint: keep in mind the correct pronunciation of the word pho’ as the phrase Sixty Pho’ is spoken out loud.
To clarify the timeline, Joe visited Vietnam the beginning of October for about 33 days and I received the Make Pho’ Not War postcard the beginning of December – textbook status quo for overseas snail mail delivery.
By then, we had already seen our son in Chicago two days after he got back to Denver from Vietnam in early November.

Say what?

Yes, it is weird to get ‘after the fact’ stuff in the snail mail.

Now, on with the Sixty Pho’ story…

64 mugs and Alchemy Coffee Beans

‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?’

It’s no secret to close family and friends that this is hubby’s and mine 64th birthday year (oh dear, the bunny’s out of the bag and into the blogosphere for sure now). I’ve always wanted to have a Beatles “When I’m 64” birthday celebration when the time came and the time is – AHEM – now. I turned that fateful age in October and hubby will catch up with me after Christmas in December.
I had always thought by now we’d be in our own home again. You know, a place big enough to throw one of our famous family/friend bashes, in this case a 64th Beatles birthday bash.
Joe's birthday July 2018

Joe’s birthday, July 2018 (Michelle, me, Joe)

That was not to be, as finding home is still an elusive yet hopeful work in progress. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, hubby secretly strategized with the kiddos on how to make that bash happen regardless. So, while we all met in Colorado for Joe’s birthday during our time of getting the folks’ house ready to be put on the market (yeah, we find ways to meet regardless of the miles that separate us) a solution broke forth.
Why not meet in Chicago?
Middle child Michelle is only a few hours away in Michigan from Chicago, so she and David could easily meet us there for a weekend jaunt as a break from her PhD thesis presentation prep. (BTW: she is now an official PhD candidate as her thesis was accepted! Yippee!)
Why not meet in Chicago? Hubby and I certainly don’t mind the road trip from South Carolina to anywhere. The mileage all goes towards the goal of reaching 400K at least*, if not all the way back from the Moon at 477,800 miles!
The location seemed logical as many members of the Family still live in the Chicago area, though several of us cousins and the remaining oldsters have moved away for various reasons. Chicago is the origination point of our Family after immigrating into the US from Calabria, Italia in the early 20th century. Hence, us cousins and our respective parental siblings were born and raised there. Indeed, Chicago is still a central hub to most of us.
Planning for our Chicago destination-as-solution to the 64th birthday bash blasted off in earnest. One Chicago cousin helped in finding a great Italian place central to all locals to hold the bash, I nailed the details with the restaurant, Michelle sent out e-vites, and the boys (son and son-in-law) got on with arranging the star set-piece, “When I’m 64,” for tenor sax and oboe.
Those of us who were able to come to the party.

Those of us who were able to come to the party. Except for the end persons, the five of us in the front row are the attending cousins – I’m the only one of them who likes pictures taken, so I’m lucky to have this. (L-R: Pat, Joanne, Dennis, me, Bob)

Anyway all that to say, many of us met up in Chicago – Michelle and David from MI, Joe right after getting back from his trip to Vietnam, and a handful of Chicago cousins and cousin-in-laws for a shared 64th Beatles b-day bash – and – as an excuse to mangia together in early November before the holidays got going full blast. Of course, not everyone could make it, (mostly the lawyers in the Family who had on-going cases in session, out-of-towners, and the oldsters who couldn’t travel the distance) but it was fun.
Joe and David playing the star set-piece

Joe and David playing the star set-piece

Gotta make those milestones FUN or else they become more like millstones!
As mentioned before, in keeping with my wishes and the traditions of our slice of the Family**, Joe and David played the star set-piece as opener for the mangia party (would love to post their performance video sometime, but licensing issues especially with high profile ‘covers’ can be legal nightmares – most non-musicians don’t realize this is a real problem – so that’s not happening in today’s post).
Instead, this vid will just have to do:
(click here)

As for me and mine, the answer to that question: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty four?” is a resounding YES! How about for you and yours?

*Odometer alert: as of this writing, we are at 397,963. 🙂

One of many places Dad played back in the day.

The Green Mill in Chicago, one of many places Dad played back in the day.

**As in our musical roots

Michelle, Joe, me, hubby in front of the Green Mill Lounge in Chicago, taking in a show.

Michelle, Joe, me, hubby in front of the Green Mill Lounge in Chicago, taking in a show.

PS – We took in a show at the Green Mill the night before our 64th bash


  1. marissthequilter

    Wow! What a bash.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh yeah!!!!

      • marissthequilter

        It was good to ‘meet’ your family and learn a bit more about you. ?

        • laura bruno lilly

          Thanks for joining the party, Mariss…hope it added to your own delight in turning 64!

          • marissthequilter

            You always add to my delight. And, yes, it was a good, memorable birthday.
            “Doing the garden, who could ask for more, when you’re sixty-pho'” — my favourite line

          • laura bruno lilly

            Of course, that line has Mariss written all over it! Go forth and ‘potter about’!

  2. petespringerauthor

    Thanks for sharing this with me, Laura. I’ve still got three years to get to 64, but I love the idea of celebrating that milestone in true Beatles style.

    My family traditionally gets together for a family reunion every three years. My three older brothers and I managed to get ourselves thoroughly scattered across the United States. (One of us in each of the four continental time zones.) We were supposed to be meeting in Minnesota for this year’s version last month, but we decided to postpone for a year. Let’s hope we’re in a better place next year in terms of health.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Pete, thanks so much for visiting one of my favorite posts! I think 3 years, even in the time of COVID, should be ample time to round up your bros and other assorted friends & fam to join you for a 64th Beatles B-Day Bash! What a fun thing to look forward to….Let the pre-festivities begin!

  3. Annika Perry

    A belated Happy Birthday!! I loved reading about your celebrations and the warmth of your family shines through. Looks like you all had a wonderful time and how true that ‘Gotta make those milestones FUN or else they become more like millstones!’

    • laura bruno lilly

      Ha! As a writer, I’m sure you’ve noticed how just changing out a single letter in a word often drastically alters the meaning in the resultant word…interesting in Mile/Mill stone, eh?
      Thank you for the belated greetings – I love extending the birthday celebration spirit!

  4. Jennie Fitzkee

    Ah, the beloved 64th birthday when I sang that Beatles song all year long, especially when someone asked me how old I was. Happy Birthday to you and Joe, Laura. Looks like you had a super celebration.

    • laura bruno lilly

      When I turned sixty I told others (who asked – they had to work at figuring out my age, I’m not just answering that question right off, ya know?) “I’m back in the 60’s” Moreover, whenever friends crossed that milestone, I’d welcome them by saying, “Welcome back to the 60’s!”
      Guess it gets lost in the writing of it, but I thought you’d get a kick out of my pre-64 mindset!!!!
      BTW: Joe is my son, Terry is my hubby. Actually that’s my bad as I tend to try not to use their names all that often in my weird attempts at respecting their privacy….go figure, cuz it doesn’t bother them at all.

  5. tierneycreates

    Sounds like an awesome way to have a celebration!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, any excuse…

  6. Mary

    I seem to remember a similar Beatles theme the year we turned 64. Guess that’s a generational thing

  7. Andy

    Looks like you had a really great night. And any Beatles connection gets a thumbs up from me!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Keep it in mind for your own venture into the older generation (which is hugely in the future!)

  8. Kathryn Lovatt

    I loved this, although that year is behind me a mite. Loved also “make pho not war. “ A worthy bumper sticker.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Would love that bumper sticker – a keeper like ‘More Cowbell’

  9. Ally Bean

    I’d forgotten about that song, but now that you mention it I think you were brilliant to have a birthday celebration because of it. So happy it worked out for you and your husband. Looks like lots of fun.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Ally.
      ‘Twas fun!

  10. Marty

    Now that’s doing it in style! I will use your experience as a template for when I hit that magical number… “many years from now.” 🙂 – Marty

    • laura bruno lilly

      Sooo glad to be setting a trend – go for it and let me know how it goes no matter how many years from now it occurs!

  11. Jane Chesebrough

    Welcome to sixty pho’, I am there, too, and though I notice the aging, am doing what I want to do. My favourite line in the Beatles song was the gentle reminder “you’ll be older too.” When I played the video and saw the album cover I went right back to where I was when I first listened to it. I agree about making the milestones FUN, or they become millstones.What a great party with the family gathered together. Life is to celebrate!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, baby bro sent me a b-day card that stated “I’ll always be younger”…to which your favorite line is a great comeback!

  12. Jill Weatherholt

    What a great way to celebrate! Happy birthday to you and your husband, Laura! I always loved that song! 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Jill.
      How are you guys weathering the storm in Charlotte? Looks pretty, but Southern cities aren’t well equipped to deal with much snow. I hope you’re warm and safely tucked inside with a good book and hot beverage by your side!

  13. Roseanne

    Hi Laura! What a FUN post and bash. I have always enjoyed that Beatles song, and always thought it would be fun to have a similar party at 64. I’m 100% sure that all who attended had a blast, AND to have special musicians play the song is even more sweet. {{Hugs}} This was such a pleasure to read. Happy Monday to you. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, it was a blast!

  14. Deborah Brasket

    What a fun post! I enjoyed it so much. So wonderful you were able to have your special bday bash with all your far-flung family. And yes, my hubby and I can say the same thing at 64 and beyond.

    • laura bruno lilly

      All right! It’s great to be needed and FED, eh?

  15. L. Marie

    Oh, Laura!!! Now I get it! That is so clever! The Beatles theme is very appropriate. So glad you got to celebrate your birthday and your husband’s birthday with your family. I wish I could have seen you in Chicago! But undoubtedly you were busy celebrating with your family! (I almost typed phamily, thanks to pho.)

    • laura bruno lilly

      I actually thought about scheduling a time to maybe grab a coffee/tea/chocolate croissant with you – but it became evident early on that it wouldn’t work on my end. Definitely up for a meeting sometime! Will let you know whenever we’re around town again and see if we can meet up.
      As for the Sixty Pho’ now you have something to look forward to as you get older! HA!
      peace, friend

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