Many happy returns of the day

Seventeen members of The Legal Genealogist‘s family are gathered today in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.

The youngest isn’t yet a year old.

The oldest is in his 70s.

Other than the wish and even the need to be together as often as we can, there’s no particular reason for this get-together.

It’s mostly a matter that, as we get older, we treasure every minute we have together more and more.

Oh, and there is the minor little matter of the birthday.

It’s not a capital letter Birthday. Not born in a year ending with an eight — or even with a three.

But today is the baby’s birthday, and we’re all going to be able to celebrate with him.

Not the youngest member of the family who’s here, mind you. He’s still got a ways to go before he turns a year old.

But my baby brother.

My brother Bill was named after our mother’s oldest brother, though my German-born father insisted on the formal William rather than the Southern U.S. version my uncle bore through life — Billy. But he was always called Billy, or Bill, or even — and to this day still by some of our aunts and uncles — Little Bill, to distinguish him from our uncle. And, of course, as he’s gotten older, he’s sometimes been called Mr. Bill.

I’ve written about Bill before: the retired Marine, father of two, funny, with a sense of humor that is always funny and never, ever hurtful. Caring. Smart. And just an all-around decent human being.

Mr. Bill — Little Bill — that baby turns 54 today.

And we’ll all be here to wish him many happy returns of the day.

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