Beautiful people: Kathypalooza

My sister Kathy approached the occasion of her 50th birthday party with unfettered glee.

She mingled, hugged, high-fived, sang, chatted, reminisced, tasted, sipped, posed, and, utterly unfazed by the number on the top of her cake, happily wished as she blew out her candles. Unsure which of her favorite two outfits she should wear, Kathy chose both, changing, Kardashian-like, midway through the festivities.

Billed as a recreation of a party that had landed Kathy and her friends in some trouble 33 years ago, Kathypalooza turned out to be a celebration of joy.

“This is how we do family,” Kathy’s stepson Traveain (DJ Tra) said as he supervised the music.

And, that’s exactly how it felt.

Friends and family flew in from each coast, drove up, down, and from across the state to celebrate with her.

Classmates, some of whom denied being at the original party, some of whom proudly owned their role in the original party, and several of whom glanced nervously at our mother, their still-miffed high school English teacher Mrs. Kostelnik, as they reminisced, gathered to toast lasting friendship.

In-laws, out-laws, nieces, nephews, godchildren and the ageless Granny Thelma all made the trek to toast Kathy’s milestone.

I’ve chronicled Kathy’s health journey pretty thoroughly on this blog, so let me just say that, given her all of that and her determined joie de vie, it was especially fun to celebrate a milestone birthday with a sister who, apparently better than any of us, knows how to enjoy a good party.

The older we get, the more we all understand the fleeting nature of life and the genuine privilege of joyful moments.

I’ll close with a version of this song I first heard when Mira Bhayroo, then six-years old, sang it to us with a delightful South African accent.

Happy birthday to you. May your dream all come true. May you always walk in sunshine. Happy birthday to you.

P.S. I may have taken a photo or two…

20180818_175258
A gathering of friends/suspects from the original party.
DSC_0082
Kathy, two judges, and Appleton PD officer Tom Poss, who gifted Kathy with a bottle of 19 Crimes wine and an APD badge.
DSC_0070
Brenda, who opened the door at the original party, her husband Lee, who may or may not have been at the original party, and the birthday girl.
DSC_0075
The Biskupic clan and the birthday girl (left to right Steve, Nancy, Elaine, Kathy, Donna and Cary).
DSC_0077
Kathy and two of her nieces, Hannah and Olivia.
DSC_0093
Kathy’s husband Keith and the ageless Granny Thelma.
DSC_0110
We all love Mrs. Wiz, but Kathy especially does as Mrs. Wiz pleaded Kathy’s case and convinced my parents to let her go on a trip to Spain with her class following the big fiesta.
DSC_0115
DJ Tra handled the music. “This is how we do family,” he said.
DSC_0118
Kathy and Granny Thelma, who is Traveain’s grandmother.
DSC_0125
Kathy and friends Tina and Lonzie
20180818_190251(0)
My mom and her friend and fellow XHS parent Christina Winch.
DSC_0136
The dessert table.
DSC_0143
Sister in-law Robin and Kathy.
DSC_0156
Making a wish..
DSC_0159
Kathy and her nephew Michael, who drove in from Indianapolis.
DSC_0161
Kathy and Molly.
DSC_0164
Kathy and Moi.
DSC_0167
Kathy and Brenda.
DSC_0174
Goddaughter Katherine and Kathy.
DSC_0178
Grandma Peggy/Mrs. Kostelnik/Mom and Kathy
DSC_0182
Kathy and Vince.
DSC_0194
My siblings and me.
DSC_0200
A classic photo bomb by our niece Erin.
DSC_0208
Sarah Simon and Kathy.
DSC_0210
Kathy and her husband Keith.
DSC_0212
Two Biskupic sisters and the Finleys.
DSC_0216
Ah the lovely Fowler sisters.
DSC_0218
Dave, John, Kathy. Two of these people were at the original party.
DSC_0220
Jameela, Shakeela, Ameera, Kathy and Terrell. They call her GK.
DSC_0223
With their mother/aunt Trenette.
DSC_0229
Kathy and Shara, Traveain’s mother.

6 thoughts on “Beautiful people: Kathypalooza

  1. Thank you to the beautiful people who planned and co-hosted this amazing party – Laura, Vince, Jenny, Brian, Mike, Robin, and my mom. Adding Darboy Fried Chicken to the menu was genius.

  2. I had a great time celebrating this milestone withe the bravest and most courageous young woman I know. I enjoyed meeting Keith’s family, especially Keith’s son, Traveain. He did an awesome job with the music. Thelma doesn’t look old enough to be a grandmother, yet she told me she is a great grandmother. Is the fountain of youth located in the Milwaukee water supply?

  3. Happy 50th Birthday Kathy! We were so sad to miss out, but Husker and I were there in spirit! I love these pictures, how fun to be surrounded by the many people that love you. Let’s keep celebrating and I will plan a gathering in September.

    Wishing you nothing but the best as you begin this new decade. Sending you a big hug!
    Love,
    Laura

Leave a Reply