Gregory G. H. Rihn (milwaukeesfs) wrote,
Gregory G. H. Rihn

Steven Vincent Johnson Birthday Party 08-16-03

A couple of weeks ago, our friend artist Darlene P. Coltrain phoned us up with mischief in hand. It seemed that, last year, her husband, Steven Vincent Johnson 9also a fan and an artist) had extracted a promise from her that she would not surprise him with a birthday party for his 50th birthday. However, his 51ST birthday was now on the horizon, and such a promise had neither been asked for nor given. So, would Georgie provide a cake? Yes, she would, and we went to Steve's own website to choose a subject. Steve's wonderful art can be seen at

We chose to render one of his UFO series, "Down the Road a 'Ways," which depicts a couple of flying saucers searching along a country road. Georgie added a "Route 51" signpost in the spotlight to commemorate the day.

On the afternoon of the 16th, we packed up the cake, some Kopp's custard on dry ice and headed off for the Stevens Street playgound in Madison, a postage-stamp park across the street from the home of Madison fans Hope and Karl Hailman. Surprise was achieved! Steve had shown up at the supposedly ad-hoc picnic, and his curiosity was apparently not aroused by the bunch of balloons or small stack of cards and gift. When we showed up with the cake, the trap was sprung.

There was a yummy potluck and the lemon cake and custard wer of course delicious. There was a further surprise when Darlene's talented daughter Fritha showed up to belly-dance for the guest of honor, much to the crogglement of nearby neighbors and fascination of children in the playground.

As darkness drew on, the party dispersed, but some few of us adjourned briefly back to Steve and Darlene's for an hour's more very enjoyable chat before we took the long road home.
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