Yep, as of 5:23 p.m. on Jan. 21 I have now survived for 77 years and am now starting on my 78th.  (I looked at my birth certificate to get the time.)

I am truly, truly thankful for the dozens and dozens and dozens of emails, phone calls and Facebook messages I received.  From friends I’ve know more than 50 years, from folks I only know because they read this blog, a card from someone in Nebraska, several from those who made snide remarks about being so old.  (The kind of remarks I would make to them I’m sure.)

And how did I spend my day?  In a courtroom in Chatom, AL listening to lawyers arguing the merits and demerits of the effort to put a charter school in a community that does not want it AT ALL.  (More on this later.)

The night before was spent with my friends Betty and Butch Brackin in the metropolis of Leroy, AL.  Betty is Federal Programs Director for the Washington County school system and Butch is a retired educator and baseball and football official.  And a master at grilling steaks on the grill, which a partook of with gusto.

It was the coldest night of this winter so far with the weatherman in Mobile saying it would be 24 by morning.  But as I snuggled down in bed, a dinner conversation kept running through my mind.  Betty told of an eighth-grader who lives with a disabled  father and for all practical purposes is homeless.  I wondered what his circumstances were on this very cold night.

I rambled back into my drive at 4:30 this afternoon.  The mail had a ticket from the City of Montgomery telling me that their “eye in the sky” recently caught me running a red light and that for $60, I would be a free man.

Damn.  Didn’t they know it was my birthday?

But even with that, it was the best 77th birthday I’ve ever had.