The August birthday celebrators, and their guests behind them.
By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of seniors - summer babies, Leos and Virgos - got together at the Walpole Co-operative Bank South Street Center to celebrate their August birthdays.
But this party would be a little different than the others, as instead of a regular cake, the seniors got a group of cupcakes crammed together to form one big cake.
The party had to be brief, as many of the seven birthday revelers needed to leave for Senior Moments rehearsal. Still, seven people is a solid number for a birthday month, which is something Joanne Damish pointed out.
“It’s very nice to be recognized on our birthdays,” she noted. “This is a surprisingly large group of August birthdays.”
COA Director Kerri McManama said the practice of celebrating monthly birthdays has been around since almost as soon as she started at the Walpole COA, which is great, because it’s an excellent tradition.
“We’ve done this since I started, practically, which is almost three years ago in September. We encourage people who it’s not their birthday to come and participate, and also those who are having a birthday. It’s a nice thing. A lot of them might not have a lot of people around them to celebrate their birthday, so it’s more about getting them together.”
McManama said that they don’t like to mention numbers or special milestones, but that sometimes a birthday person will bring it up themselves at the party.
“Some of them are prideful about it. They’ll bring it up like ‘you wouldn’t believe I’m this age.’”
While the new South Street Center has all sorts of technology, McManama explained that the birthday situation is entirely voluntary. They don’t have any registry of when everyone’s birthday is.
“We put it in the newsletter just as ‘if it’s your birthday, come and we’ll celebrate you, but it doesn’t have to be - just come and celebrate, anyway.’”
Anyone that has worked in a chain restaurant knows it doesn’t take much incentive for a person to lie about their birthday. So even though you can go and get cake for free, the question had to be asked: has McManama caught anybody claiming two birth months?
“I haven’t,” she responded with a smile. “That would be kind of sneaky.”