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Amazing Grace

My father-in-law, Jack, turned 80 last Friday. He was the guest of honor at a party held at his very own establishment, Jack’s Service. I may have had my reservations about throwing a party in an auto garage, but Jack’s friends at the shop knew what they were doing. It was relaxed and fun in a very retro kind of way.

Now, Jack has a way of bringing together all kinds of people – and this party was a perfect example of that.
There was family. LOTS of family.


And friends. LOTS and LOTS of friends.



There was the band, of course.

And food. Cooked on a very nifty (and borrowed) grill by the coordinator of this whole she-bang.

Like any good birthday party, there was cake.

And the biggest birthday card I have ever seen.

Finally, there was a major surprise. This is Sleepy LaBeef.
Have you heard of him? He’s also known as The Human Jukebox and he’s a very good friend of Jack’s. Sleepy was flown into town by the organizers of this party. His plane was delayed several hours but he finally arrived at about 10 pm. The look on Jack’s face when Sleepy strode into the garage and walked up to the microphone and started singing and playing was priceless.

Most of us were rocking and rolling into the wee hours.

The title of this post, by the way, was inspired by Sleepy’s closing song of the night. Yup, it was “Amazing Grace.” And it made me think how we were all together due not only to the amazing grace of God but also the amazing grace of my father-in-law. A man who loves everyone and everything and always find joy in life. Happy Birthday, Jack. And many, many more.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1., I want a party JUST LIKE THAT! In a service garage, with a hot dog stand. That is just the best and most creative idea I’ve ever heard! Couldn’t have been BETTER!

  2. Jack sounds like a fabulous man. Just knowing how to bring together so many people over a life time is a gift. He’s a very special human.

  3. Up til now we’ve all been in love with your husband. NOW, we know where THAT comes from. Secret’s out. Love to Jack! Happy B’day!

  4. Sleepy LaBeef, wow, that brings back memories. Used to see him a lot when I first moved to Boston and spent my weekends at Johnny D’s, Harpers Ferry and Club III.

    Happy Birthday to Jack.

  5. Happy birthday, Jack! I fear my sheltered existence has not included exposure to Sleepy, but the whole bash looks like terrific fun. Amazing grace, truly.

  6. What a great tribute to your FIL. I always figure how much a person is loved can be measured by how many people can’t wait to be part of honoring them at an event like this!

  7. Great post, great party, great entertainment and obviously a very great man.

    Sure wish I could have been there, that’s the only bad part.

    Be sure to let Jack know he’s a star now!

  8. What an awesome party! Jack’s friends sure know how to throw a good one. And how to make the birthday guy feel special. Happy 80th, Jack!

  9. Jack is a lucky, lucky man – you guys really threw him a celebration, not just a party. It looks like so much fun! (And how did they get his pictures on the cake? Is that some newfangled thing bakeries do? So it’s part of the cake? And you eat the person’s nose or something? That part’s kinda strange… but, it looks really cool.)

    Happy Birthday, Jack!

  10. Happy Birthday to you, Jack…and many more! …and yes, I remember Sleepy LaBeef too…it was a very long time ago!

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