Friend and Mentor Turns 65

So this past weekend I was invited to a birthday party for my good friend and mentor, Mark Ewing.  I got the invitation in the mail a few weeks ago from his wife, Angie.  Mark was born three days before the invasion of Normandy by Allied Forces… D-Day.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to get this guy who has everything, so a case of Corona Long-necks found itself strapped to the back seat of my motorcycle for the trip out to Mark’s ranch out in Jones Spring, WV.  Most of the time I just take Route 9 to Sleepy Creek to get to his place, but today I decided to take the back way up and over the mountain so I could hit some twisties.  Good idea with a case of beer at your back?  I didn’t have any problems, so I guess it was fine.  😀

As it turns out, I was the only one of Mark’s guests who rode out, even though most of our riding group members were among them.  Maybe it’s because most of them brought spouses or significant others to be the designated drivers for the way home, or maybe they’re just not wanting to win the mileage award for our group at the end of the year.  Haha!  You should have seen the jaws drop when I told them I was already up over 3k miles this year!  I think they’re plotting against me now to try and sneak some more miles in together as a group without me knowing.

I was greeted at the door by Angie, who promptly told me I had to eat all the hordourves that were downstairs.  I found this convenient since I hadn’t actually eaten anything that day.  I was very pleasantly surprised when I got downstairs.  The entire pool table had been literally covered with food.  First thing I noticed, though, was a platter of deviled eggs that was in severe danger of being eaten by me.  I’m a sucker for deviled eggs.  I think I ate like 17 of them.

Mark bartended most of the time before dinner.  He had a keg of something tapped and in a barrel of ice and plenty of bottled beer and liquor (his booze, mind you).  There was even some wine for the less regular drinkers in the crowd.  There was no Jack Daniels to be found, though.  Mark made fun of me when I asked.  Instead I ended up having some Canadian Whiskey (NOT Crown Royal, thank goodness) and ginger ale.  It wasn’t too bad, but I certainly couldn’t have more than this one if I was planning on riding home… which I was.  Coke was the drink of fare for the rest of the night for me.

After a few hours of socializing, Mark went upstairs to start the grill.  Man oh man you should have seen the size of the steaks he had!  They were easily an inch-and-a-half thick, and the one that I flipped for him once took up almost the whole grill!  Monster steaks, I tell you!  The steaks were complimented with green beans from Angie’s garden, as well as rolls and other stuff I can’t recall at the moment.  It was all good, though!

Cake was for dessert, but by that time I had no room for any.  I did learn one thing, though.  Mark can’t cut a straight line in a cake to save his life!  Haha.  Just joking, buddy… mostly.  Soon after cake Mark opened his gifts that weren’t booze.  Well, one ended up being booze, too, but still.  I didn’t stick around too much longer after gifts because it was starting to get dark, and I wanted to take the back roads home again like I had coming to the party.  I told Angie thanks for inviting me and told Mark happy birthday again, then hopped on the bike and headed back to Martinsburg.  It was a very fun evening with friends, and I enjoyed it very much.

Keep your powder dry.

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