Last Sunday (January 6) the Friends of Sarafian Society met at the Villa Inn in San Rafael to celebrate Jacques’ 90th birthday.
I would like at this time to thank Mireille and René Di Maio for, first offering this locale for our little gathering, and second for doing such an excellent job behind the bar, in the kitchen and in the dining room.
Although Jacques’ actual birth date is December 23, we had to postpone this celebration twice due to a series of conflicting events.
But it is not the date that matters, but the intent. And the intent was always there.
We wanted to show Jacques that we care, and that he is an important member of our pétanque family. And people came from far and wide (Sonoma, Petaluma, Glen Ellen, Vacaville) to show their esteem and affection.
Pétanque is very important to Jacques. Rain or shine he is on the field and despite his respectable age, he is still a formidable player. Last week I saw him execute a masterly “carreau” that should put many of us to shame. I am much younger than Jacques and I still cannot match his prowess.
At 90, Hagop is a veteran of the Pétanque Wars and a shining example to us all.
He told me: I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am.
As a token of our affection, about 30 of us (bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh) came to pay homage to one of our most resilient senior citizen.
I want to thank all those people for bringing such a great variety of foods and beverages and I can assure you that nobody went hungry or thirsty.
Among the guests, I noticed Isabelle Sarafian naturally, Bart Zachofsky, Antonia and Stephen Paulsen, Sabine Mattei, Claudie Chourre, Tina Petitou, Gillian Summers, Bill Raffanti, Teri Sirico, Jacques Gautier, Mireille and René, Alain and Evelyne Marchand, Antoine Lofaro, Verena Rytter, Liv Kraft, Jean-Claude and Catherine Bunand, Helga Facchini, Genevieve and Jean-Claude Etallaz and Jacques Lecouturier.
January 6 being the Epiphany (and also my birthday) I thought appropriate to bring the traditional Galette des Rois (Kings’ cake) to share with everybody.
“In France people eat the “Galette des Rois” (puff pastry with almond paste). This is the Kings’ (Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar) cake, with a bean hidden inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the bean becomes “king” for a day.”
That Sunday, there was no bean to be found but, under the cheering of the crowd, Jacques Hagop Sarafian was chosen to be our King for the day.
Long live the King!
As far as I can tell, a good time was held by all.
Thank you all for coming and honoring a guy who taught many of us the finer points of Pétanque and still can beat the pants off of most of us.
Tsnudat Shnorhavor Hagop!
Happy birthday Hagop!
And many more to come.
PS: To look at pictures of this event, turn the sound on, click on the “Home” link at the top of the page, and click again on “My photos” located on the right side of the page.