Today’s my birthday. I share it with the birth of our country, which has always made me feel kind of special. Other notable birthday buddies include George Steinbrenner, Leona Helmsley, and Geraldo Rivera. (We Cancers can be characters.) If I could have chosen a day of the year on which to be born, I suppose I would have even chosen this day. There was always something fun to do—picnics, ball games, boat rides, and pyrotechnics to cap it all off.
When something happens on my birthday, chances are pretty good that I’m going to remember it. While I can’t remember every detail of every birthday I’ve ever had, I do remember many of them. And if something out of the ordinary happened on my birthday, that made a bigger dent. It became a part of me—filed away for the rest of my life. I’d venture to say that, if something happens on my birthday, there’s a better chance that I’ll remember it than if it happens on July 5 or 10 or 31.
Which brings me back around to the Ronald Tammen story and my most recent discovery. You may still be unsure about whether to believe Paul’s version of events. I get that. It was so long ago, and memories do have a way of morphing over the years.
But there’s something I haven’t shared with you up until now. April 19 is Paul’s birthday. That’s why his memory of song practice that night is so vivid. He kept his birthday to himself, he told me, because he’d seen how merciless those guys could be in celebrating other Delts’ birthdays. No sense in putting oneself through that if you can help it. But regarding the question of whether there was a song practice that night, and who it was he walked home with? On those topics he’s quite sure. Sure as the day he was born.