Danny my youngest had a birthday last week. The last time I had a communication from him was last summer when he sent me a one-paragraph letter after he graduated from high school asking me to arrange for paying for his full four years of college tuition. That missive was addressed "Dear Peter." I sent it back saying I was his father not his street corner buddy. The same letter came back a month later addressed "Dear Father," so I arranged full payment for his four years of college tuition. I haven't heard a word from him since.
(Left: A portrait of Danny from about 7 years ago.) Last I spoke with him was a year ago. Last I saw him was five years ago. So anyway, I called last week and left a message asking him to call me. When I didn't hear back from him, I took his birthday off from work. That morning I called and left a message telling him that I'd love to buy him a birthday lunch at a specific nearby restaurant and that I would be there at noon with a table reserved.
There's a happy ending to this tale . . . in fairy tales. Here's the party. Pretty festive, eh? That was enough pizza for me for lunch, dinner that night and breakfast on another day. (Right: A party at the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington!)
Finishing off the cold pizza on the morning of Leap Year Day was a mistake. There was a special Leap Year running of the free monthly noontime Tidal Basin 3K, the 409 1/2th consecutive running of it. Do the math and the race goes back to April 1974.
These races always have a theme. This running was in honor of The Awakening statue, the earthbound giant struggling to arise from the ground for many years at nearby Haines Point. It was sold, and shipped off to PG County on the very day we were running February's normal version of the Tidal Basin 3K (February 20th, the third Wednesday of the month). It's gone forever, folks. The statue, not the race.
Fueled (or weighted down) by pizza I struggled to finish in 13:44 (7:22). My doppelganger Peter returned the favor from the race a week earlier and beat me this time. (Left: The 3K race staging area. This month I got a 2-fer for free noontime 3K races in downtown DC.)