Sorry, my fingers haven’t been working very well since the temperatures sunk faster than an inflatable boat constructed of tire irons. I mean, I woke up Wednesday morning with a frozen pug draped across my face and a shar-pei wrapped up in my blanket — her giant food-stained teeth chattering in the cold while I was left unprotected following her nocturnal blanket theft. What’s a guy have to do to get just an ounce of respect from two ...
But I digress.
What I really wanted to discuss this week is a historical event I witnessed last week that left me in awe of the significance. It was one of those rare moments in time when you just know you are in the presence of something much bigger than yourself, and you simply try to soak in all of the glory around you.
That’s right. Frank Miranda turned 60.
Well, to be accurate, I didn’t actually watch Frank turn 60, as much as participate in the party thrown for him by his longtime friend and business partner, Mark Hardt. Watching Frank age in front of my eyes would be a little much for my sensitive stomach, but I did truly enjoy the festivities thrown his way.
For starters, the evening had a family atmosphere to it. There were many of Frank’s friends, his lovely wife, Mary, people he volunteers with on the board of Contractors for a Cause and several others with ties to the Mirandas. The party was held in Kool Bean which, like the Coastal Point, has landlords by the names of Miranda and Hardt, and the food, drinks and service were absolutely tremendous.
As I was driving to the party, I started thinking about Frank. I was thinking about how he’s always quick with a joke, and how he always seems to be in control of himself. I thought about how he officiates college football games, and the passion he must have for the game I so love, to drive to outpost stations to referee a game between two teams he has no personal feelings for, outside of his love of the game.
It reminded me of a story he once told me about the very first game he officiated. It was between a northern power and a southern power, and all the big dignitaries showed up to watch the game. There in the front row sat President Lincoln, and to his right was ...
Sorry. Had to take the cheap shot.
Actually, I’m glad I did — if for no other reason, to comment on the feel of the evening on Saturday. People didn’t take shots at Frank for his milestone birthday. Frank didn’t seem all that bummed about the number, either, as he was in as good a mood as anybody in the room.
What it was, in fact, was a regular lovefest for the guy. People were happy to celebrate with Frank. They were excited to be there with him and Mary, and they were collectively stunned by Mark Hardt picking up the tab.
Sorry, Mark. It was there, and this is Frank’s day.
I truly believe you can get a good idea about a man’s character by the company he keeps, and the way they talk about him. As for Frank, he’s got an incredibly nice group of friends who speak about him with an air of respect and fondness that casts the impression that he’s exactly as decent as I’ve always thought.
And, let’s be honest, this guy has been around a long, long, long time. He’s had many years to give people an impression on who he is and what he’s all about, and people still talk well about him. That has to say something, right?
Frank, you’re OK in my book. I like that you’re always quick with a laugh and a quip. I admire your relationship with your wife. And I respect you for ...
Nah, let’s let it go at that point. Frank, I respect you.
You’ve had a great 60 years to this point, and I’m guessing the next 60 years will bring you more of the same. They say that good things happen to good people, and as long as you refrain from raising the Coastal Point’s rent for the next 60 years or so, I’d assume that karma will indeed be good to you.
Cherish your family. Enjoy your friends. And continue to embrace all that life has to offer you in the years ahead. It’s not always a fun ride, but it’s always a ride.
Now, go enjoy that present I got you for years to come! Yeah, I’m still chuckling a little.