Happy birthday dear Traveain

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…

Vince enjoyed a chat with Traveain’s grandma, the amazing Thelma.
Traveain’s nephew Terrell helped hang up the birthday sign. (My sister Kathy, Traveain’s stepmom, had a birthday September 3 and we celebrated that as well.)
Oh man, Trenette’s banana pudding was amazing!
There was a lot of hugging going on.
Kathy and Traveain share a beautiful bond.
Traveain’s dad Keith and his godfather Gary. Gary has known Traveain since he was a baby and he calls him “pure love”.
DJ-Tra knows how to host a party
The Menomonee Falls High School contingent, a lovely, fun-loving group.
Ebony and Dominique met Traveain when they were high school students at Milwaukee Vincent. They drove all the way from Texas and Arkansas to surprise him at his 30th birthday party. He was thrilled.
My embarassingly full plate. Ribs! Coleslaw! Dirty Rice! Green Beans! Oh my!
Traveain and his beautiful sisters Trenette and Tracy.
Traveain’s high school friend Tasha came to the party with her sweet little daughters.
I love this picture of Grandma Thelma and her four kids, left to right, Bryant, Shara, Elbert, and L.C.
I also love this picture of Keith junior and his bicep (Ha!), Keith, my mom Peggy, Molly and Kathy. We had such a great time at Traveain’s birthday party!

Here’s a little taste of the joy:





2 thoughts on “Happy birthday dear Traveain

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.