Three weeks ago, I celebrated my 76th birthday. Last night, I awoke thinking about how I’d like to celebrate my upcoming milestone 80th birthday in an unusual way.

 As birthdays go, my 60th was one of the most horrible days of my life. Larry, diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier in the week, didn’t know anything. He was clueless as to where he was, where we lived, and where he’d grown up. Fortunately, he did improve several days afterward.  

Several months before my 70th birthday, I wanted to plan a happy celebration. Being very involved in ART 321 (The Casper Artist’s Guild) I decided my gift to myself would be something to help the organization.

During a walk with Smarty Welsh corgi, I had a brainstorm. After watching The Cake Boss TV series and buying pastries at his bakery in NYC, my brilliant idea was to


I’d invite Buddy Valastro to visit Casper. We would set up a series of cake decorating events with all the proceeds going to ART 321.

I raced home with Smarty trotting along behind me. On the Cake Boss website, I sent an email with the invitation. Then I waited. When I heard back from his representative, she said that Buddy considered my invitation a priority, and she wanted more information. Primarily, how much could we afford?

 My budget as sponsor wasn’t huge. However, we could pay a small amount, including his travel and hotel stay, along with giving him some great Wyoming experiences like visiting a real working ranch where horses and cattle were raised and spending a night in a genuine sheep wagon. We’d include visiting the Winchester Museum, the Japanese Internment Camp in Cody, and tours of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Then, I received a response saying Buddy required the following:

 A fee of $90,000

First-class plane travel for him and a traveling companion

Hotel expenses

Per diem for himself and a companion,

Transportation while in Casper


Amazing what people think they’re worth, isn’t it? We could get a REAL astronaut for $35,000!

 I turned to Plan B which was an unusual circus theme walk with breakfast served to all the people after the fundraising event. Some false friends vetoed the idea.

Discouraging, but Plan C was a surefire idea. I would give away a


to anyone who came to ART 321 for the monthly Art Walk happening on the first Thursday in August. At the July Art Walk we’d had over 900 visitors, so maybe there would be upward of 1,000 people.

It would make me happy to share a birthday cupcake with each of them, so I drove straight to Safeway.

“I’d like to order some cupcakes,” I said to the bakery clerk.

“Okay, how many would you like?”

“1050 should do it.”

“Let me write that down,” the clerk said as she fumbled for her pencil and pad.

 She then assured me they were up to the task and would deliver them to ART 321 on the correct afternoon. Finally, the day arrived, and so did an entire baker’s rack filled with lovely pastel pink, blue, and green sparkly cupcakes.

 Perfect weather brought over 875 people to ART 321 that evening, but only a bit over 400 ate one of my birthday celebration cupcakes..

“Wow! That leaves a lot of cupcakes, doesn’t it?” I mumbled.

The left overs went to temporary home freezers after the ART 321 freezer filled up. Eventually, all of the cupcakes were eaten at later events.  

It’s not too early to begin making plans for my next milestone birthday celebration – only four years away. Did I learn anything from the cupcake experience? You’ll have to wait and see.

What do you plan for your next milestone birthday?

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