For the first time since the pandemic started we went to a restaurant, Terra Plata, for Gay’s 51st birthday dinner. On the way home we tried to find an open Starbucks so she could get her free birthday coffee but there weren’t any. Then we had cupcakes and presents at home.
Gale Sayers died today, sadly from dementia caused by football. He was a great football player and I’m a football fan but he played before my time. I knew of him as one of the first famous football players, the way baseball fans know of Babe Ruth. But he’s relevant to us because Gay was named after him! At least, that’s what we have believed for the last 15 years. We were wrong.
All her life, Gay had believed that she was named after “an Irish guy named Galen who survived cancer” because her mom read about the guy and was inspired by the story of beating cancer. “Galen” made sense because Gay’s full name is “Gay Lynn”, so her mom cleverly changed it to two words. But Gay never knew who this Irish guy was.
Several years ago, she was curious to find out and asked her mom. Long story short, we figured out that the story her mom read about was Brian’s Song, a movie based on Gale Sayers’ autobiography I Am Third which includes his relationship wtih his teammate, Brian Piccolo, who did get cancer but unfortunately didn’t survive it. Somehow, Gay’s mom confused the two people and named her daughter after Gale Sayers, which is pretty cool! That’s what we have believed since 2005. But it gets more clear…
In the book, Gale Sayers told the story of how he and his wife could not get pregnant for three years, started to adopt a girl, then became pregnant before the adoption process was complete. Gay was also adopted, so this makes much more sense that her mom would relate to the story! They named their daughter Gale Lynne. So she probably wasn’t named after Brian Piccolo or Gale Sayers after all, but Gale Sayers’ first daughter!
I love how Gale Sayers really stuck to his G name scheme as Gay is very proud of her initials ‘GG’. He later had sons named “Gaylon”, “Gary” and “Guy”. Incidentally, Gay is often called “Gary” (but never “Guy”, mysteriously) by people who can’t accept that someone is named “Gay”.
Another fact that makes us feel that we are very close to the true story of Gay’s name: Brian Piccolo’s wife is named Joy, which is the name Gay’s mom always said she’d pick if she had another daughter.
As for me, I was named after a friend of my brother’s at the time I was born because it started with a T and my parents wanted all three of their kids to be Ts. At least that’s what I have believed my entire life…
Gay turned 50 today. The kids made breakfast for her all by themselves.
Gay and Havana went to Gay’s favorite cake shop Deep Sea Sugar & Salt to get pieces of cake. She decided to do this just before Eric scheduled a surprise Zoom call with a bunch of her friends from around the country. I also couldn’t get the Zoom app to work on my iPad so the surprise was ruined even more because when she got back I had to get her up to my office computer. Yet she was still surprised.
I picked up takeout dinner from Rione XIII, which is now takeout only during the Covid-19 shutdown, and it was pretty good.
Gay is running the Stevens Christmas Tree Sale this year after being a volunteer and learning the ropes last year. It’s a surprisingly difficult task to put up an online order system, processing paper checks, managing the orders for all the different types of trees, ordering the trees, getting other volunteers together to work the tree sale, plus the bake sale that goes on at the same time, doing the marketing to make sure people know about it, begging for volunteers to help out with customer service, tree-cutting, tree tying to cars and the deliveries to homes.
Jon (whose kid doesn’t even go to Stevens) and I were one team of delivery drivers. He brought his pickup truck and we delivered trees, including ours, all over Capitol Hill for a few hours tonight. As I thanked the tree buyers for supporting the school, most of which were repeat customers for years, it was nice to hear how much they appreciated the school, sent their kids to the school, etc.
Gay turned 49 today. She wanted to go to a spa for her birthday so she went to Miraval in Tucson, Arizona. Me and the kids were sad that she didn’t want us around for her birthday but at least she went alone and didn’t choose other people over us. She left yesterday morning and is coming back on Sunday.
Havana went over to Hanna’s house tonight and Hudson and Eva spent the night at Bowie & Iris’ house. So I was home alone and didn’t know what to do with myself. I ended up listening to music past midnight and texting with Gay for a bit. That’s my version of decadence.
Gay went with members of the WA Brewer’s Guild to Olympia today to talk to our representatives about beer. She got to see Nicole Macri who kicked off her campaign at Optimism and she met, Frank Chopp, the Speaker of the House, who has never met with the Guild before but did because he heard that “someone from Optimism would be here.”
We celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary tonight with dinner at Goldfinch Tavern…
…a walk around Seattle downtown and Pike Place Market – something we don’t do enough – and a night without kids at Thompson Hotel, which was designed by our friends at Olson Kundig. They even upgraded our room to a suite with a great view: