Yesterday Jean-Claude Etallaz Esq. celebrated his 75th birthday… in style. Between 60 to 70 people, too numerous to mention by name, responded to his invitation and travelled to Vacaville to show their esteem for “Minou”.
It was a fairly lengthy ride but fortunately, traffic was fairly light and it did not rain .
Upon arrival, guests were presented with a sumptuous display of edibles and refreshments. Tables and kitchen counters were overflowing with a variety of edibles, pastries and exotic liquors worthy of Lucullus.
I was told that “Minou” and “Minette” labored for an entire week to prepare this feast and the results were truly impressive. Every dish was made by Jean-Claude and I have to tip my hat to his savoir-faire.
When I complimented him for his effort, he told me “I had to do it… it happens only every 25 years” to which I replied “you can count on me, I will definitely attend your next celebration”.
Guests from various pétanque clubs came from far and wide, many totally unknown to me. Among my friends, I noticed Gilbert and Agnes Sonet, young Noah Sonet who is growing taller by the minute, Jean-Michel and Ellen Leznik, Alain and Evelyne Marchand, Sabine and Roger Mattei, Antoine and Eva Lofaro, Patrick Vaslet, Mireille, Michel Rattaire, Alain Gusella, Serge Hanne and Gustave Foucher.
A little later in the afternoon, Jean-Michel led a spirited group’s rendition of Happy Birthday (in English and French) followed, naturellement by an even more vibrant delivery of La Marseillaise.
Then Michel Rattaire grabbed his trumpet and played a few military tunes with his usual dexterity. If you ever need a bugler, hire this guy; I guarantee his authenticity.
Full to the rim, and afraid of bursting we left this bacchanal around 2:30 pm. Ever the classy guy, Jean-Claude presented each departing guest with a little bottle of home brewed liquor.
If he ever runs for office, be sure to vote for him. He is the real McCoy and he will never let you starve.
“Happy birthday Jean-Claude! May your Facebook wall be filled with messages from people you never talk to.”