JohnO planned the events of the day, and they came off without a hitch.
James and Jessica arrived at the Mets' CitiField with perfect timing - having driven all the way up from Chincoteague (they left there at 6am) - and met me at the old "Big Apple" outside the Main Gate of the ballpark at exactly 12:45. We went in and took our seats with the other esteemed guests, rehearsed using the cards Liz had made (spelling out H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y on one side and R U T H A N N on the other, as well as a separate set that said, of course, LETS GO METS!) When Liz hollered "Flip!" we turned them over from the HAPPY BIRTHDAY side to the RUTHANN side. When, during the game, the Mets needed some encouragement, we took out the LETS GO METS! ones and hollered it out.
Everyone had a great time, and the game itself was all anyone could have asked for. It doesn't get any better. Ike Davis of the Mets hit a homer in bottom of 4th. Astros tied it up 1-1 in top of 9th. Ike comes to bat in bottom of 9th (Liz says "Gee, wouldn't it be something if he hit another home run." And he does!) It literally bounced on top of the outfield railing and over, for a walk-off homer. If you don't mind watching a 10-second advertisement preceding it, here's a video of it: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_26_houmlb_nynmlb_1&mode=wrap&partnerId=LR_wrap#gid=2012_08_26_houmlb_nynmlb_1&mode=video
All his teammates greeted him at home plate as he literally pirouetted in.
After the game we all gathered outside the Main Gate and had our group photo taken at the Big Apple. Then we said our goodbyes to Ruthie, pretending it was all over. Little did she know that, when her friend Sandy invited her over to her house for coffee that we'd all be there again as well. We hugged and kissed her goodbye at the stadium and put one over on her again.
The party at Sandy's was great. Good food, wine, beer and lots of catching-up with out-of-state friends and relatives of Ruthie's. Must have been at least two dozen folks there. Ruthie opened her presents. . . . one of them, a blanket made from her Casey's old logo tee-shirts (logos from his elementary school all the way thru college and the sports teams he rooted for) was the biggest hit. JohnO's old roomate's wife sewed it all together, and it was absolutely perfect:
And, here's a bunch of photos from the game:
She hasn't figured out what's right in front of her just yet.
Aha! I KNOW these people!
The party-planner and his Mom
Some folks up from Virginia (actually all four of them in that row. . . Pat & Don Sodo, too!)
Rick & Aimee
Artiste at work
The fashionable Aimee & her Bear
Jimbo supplied hats and 'toys' for not only our group, but for the folks in the row ahead of us, too.
See the plane to the upper-right of the Gecko/GEICO billboard? LaGuardia sends one directly overhead above CitiField every 5 minutes or so. James and Jess will be aboard one - slingshotting from LGA back to Oakland tomorrow.
After the game, Ruthie wears Jamie's piece de resistance.
Most of the attendees, at the "post-game show."
As they say on TV: "A promotional consideration has been provided by. . . ." Not really, but thought I'd give him a plug.