Turns out you can cram a lot of love into Milwaukee’s Dineen Park Pavilion.
The place swelled with it Saturday afternoon as the man of the hour, Mr. Traveain Finley, sat in the center of the room and received visitors.
Beaming, he hugged guest after guest — school friends, teachers, caregivers, relatives and fans — all gathered to celebrate his 30th birthday.
Two friends he’d met in high school drove all the way from Texas to surprise him. His sister Tracy traveled with a family crew from Atlanta. His brother Terrell spent hours setting up, his sister Trenette whipped up a delicious batch of her famous banana pudding, and his brother Keith worked the crowd.
Milestone birthdays mean even more when no one, not even medical professionals, was sure you’d live past the age of two. Today, Traveain is thriving, thanks to excellent cooking and tender care.
“Traveain is pure love,” his friend, mentor and godfather Gary said. Gary introduced Traveain to music when Traveain was a toddler and the two still share a bond based on heart and soul. “But I told him, it’s time to expand his musical taste,” Gary chuckled.
We came to offer our congratulations and soak in the joy. Traveain’s been a happy addition to our family as well, a stern caretaker of my sister Kathy and a welcome guest at any gathering. We left with full bellies and even fuller hearts.
Of course, I took a photo or two…
Here’s a little taste of the joy: