A Musical Birthday Party

by Curt Kovener

I attended a birthday party last Friday evening and I believe I was about the youngest in attendance. In fact, even though I am just a couple of years shy of being three score years old, I think I brought the average age at this event down to around 78.
The very special occasion was the 90th birthday of Edna Pennington of Scottsburg.
I first met Edna through her son, Don, when we began playing music together several years ago. Don plays all things stringed: guitar, upright bass, mandolin and he was joined by our mutual friend John Sheckler who plays dulcimer.
As an aside, I soon learned that all three of us had worked for newspapers “way back when”. I was just the only one who didn’t graduate on to other things.
During the original three man get-to-know-one-another jam session, Edna wanders from the house into the barn to see what all of the racket was about.
Listening for a bit, she slid onto the piano bench and began plinking out honky tonk piano accompaniment. I smiled as this gray-haired grandmother could give Jerry Lee Lewis a run for his money.
Now Edna is no stay-at-home Mom. She can be found regularly at Scott Memorial Hospital as one of the pink lady volunteers.
On Friday I was told to arrive around 7 p.m. at the Pennington’s party barn and when I did found the parking areas full and music already flowing. It seems old folks like to party as well. Either that of because of their advanced years they want to get some more good times in just in case their name gets called for roll call by the Almighty.
It was a delightful evening of food and music with most of it (the food and the music) being supplied by Country Neighbors significantly older than I. But the party ended pretty abruptly as all of those early starters decided they needed to be home before dark.
Through all the food, through all the music, Edna showed no sign of being 90 years old as she joked and joshed and played that piano with aplomb.
Last year at her 89th birthday she said it was a rehearsal for her 90th. Now we are all looking forward to she what she will do for her century celebration.
I am glad I got to celebrate with such a gracious, fun loving lady.