Surprise! 70!

Jul 9, 2002

Sunday was a beautiful day in Cleveland, where I drove to stand in a Cleveland Heights backyard (a serenely designed Japanese tea garden and koi pond) to be among the storied people (Carl Sandburg’s daughter was there, and a man who coyly mentioned having a fling with Salvador Dali’s wife) wishing Richard Gildenmeister a happy 70th birthday (his day is officially July 10). Ever since I met Richard, in 1984, he’s talked about a throwing himself a black-and-white ball a la Truman Capote, who hosted a gala in honor of Washington Post publisher Kaye Graham. Circumstances kept Richard from something so ambitious this year, so his friends surprised him with this party. And Richard was in top form, telling stories, blushing at the high and many compliments, and embracing everyone in sight. Happy birthday, Richard. You are one of a kind. (Read one of the stories I’ve written about Richard. Click here.)

Anton Zuiker

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