Monday, March 17, 2014

A 100th Birthday Party

A little over a month ago, I mentioned that my Great Grandpa would be turning 100 in March.
Well, his birthday has since come and gone, and you can be sure that we had a pretty grand party!

My Mom, Grandma, and I arrived early to decorate and get the desserts ready to go on the tables.  Tyler and I stayed at the church while everyone else went back to change into their clothes for the party.  

There are a few things my great grandpa is known for.  First of all, he wakes up really early and arrives places really early.  For example, if we have some sort of family lunch, it is a well known fact that he will arrive at 8:00 am and be ready to eat lunch by 10:00 am.

Well, his 100th birthday party was no different.  He arrived about two hours early for the party, which meant that Tyler and I were the only ones there when he got there.  Unfortunately everyone else missed seeing his reactions to the decorations, but we still all had a great time!

This is a family shot before the party officially started!

I'm not sure if we should call him the "Birthday Boy!"

The party was held in my great grandpa's church's fellowship hall, which is particularly pretty compared to most local church's fellowship halls.

Everyone sang Happy Birthday and he blew out his candle!  
I guess they decided that 100 candles was too dangerous!

There were all kinds of memories and stories to go around with all the old photos that we enlarged and had hanging around the room in various ways.  You may remember my post when I talked about editing some of these grand old photos!

Grandpa Drake's mind is still very sharp, and he remembers most about each time each picture was taken.  It was so fun to watch him walk around the room and talk about what was going on in his life during those times, hear about Grandma Drake, and his only daughter - my grandma.

I made the 100 from photos of my Great Grandpa's life over the past 100 years!  He really loved showing this off to his friends as they each arrived!

He even received a Governor's Commendation for turning 100!

On this table were the family tree centerpieces my mom made, along with his commendation, a spelling certificate from 1924 when he was 10 years old, and a poem about him written by a neighbor when he was a child.

These family tree centerpieces made by my mom were a hit, and guests loved choosing some photos to take home with them!  And if you haven't gathered yet, blue is most definitely my Great Grandpa's favorite color.  Until recently I didn't know he even owned clothes that weren't blue!

My grandma had a cake made, and the rest of us made little desserts to go along!  There were too many yummy desserts to decide from (but you can bet the Italian Creme Cake my grandma made was probably the best)!

I made the cupcakes with the cupcake tags out of old photos and some with my new calligraphy pens!

The 100 project is one I treasured making even more than the cupcakes.  After we hung the numbers, it was approximately six feet across and probably three feet high.  It worked out great to put on the church's bulletin board.  I loved showing Grandpa's life over the past 100 years through the photos chronologically - with the earliest in the one, his mid-life in the first zero, and later life in the second.

Everyone who came to the party knew my grandpa in at least some parts of his life, but most likely no one has known him in all his 100 years.  I loved how within an 18 square foot space, everyone could see nearly 100 years of time condensed into this big picture - but the precious part of the big picture is how all the small moments are what bring it life and value.

Mom made one large family tree using colored photos that turned out really wonderful!
Where in the world did she find such a straight tree branch?!

Grandpa loves music and playing his guitar.  He plays mostly by ear, and enjoyed doing a little pecking on the piano before guests arrived!

All in all, I believe my Great Grandpa had a wonderful 100th birthday party with lots of family and friends.  Around 75 people showed up, which we thought was a really great amount!  He was exhausted by the end of the party, so I think he had a great time and partied hard!

Love you Grandpa Drake!
We all knew you'd make it to 100 one day!


  1. I'm so glad it worked out so well! The food and decor and everything looks great!

  2. Wow!! What a cool party and it sounds like he really enjoyed all of the preparations that you guys put into the celebration!

  3. This is such a wonderful family celebration! I can only imagine the happiness that filled your great grandfather's heart. There's so many caring touches at this party, from the pictures to the stories!

  4. Happy 100th Birthday to your Great Grandpa!!! Have a great week! :)

  5. what a privilege to celebrate a 100th birthday! Your Great Grandpa is quite dashing, and you did a fabulous job of decorating ... love those photos in the "100" shape!

  6. Happy Birthday to your Great Grandpa! What a wonderful celebration!


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