Chapter 10 Birthdays
Besides sharing a passion for music and the pipe organ in particular, Harry and Jimmy felt lucky to share so many other things. They practically shared everything for, during their waking hours, where one boy was there was found the other. They went to the same school, were in the same grade and therefore had the same teacher. They also took their piano lessons from Mr. Edwin together and, for the most part, were playing the same pieces.
They even shared the same dog. The poor pooch started off to be the backdoor neighbor's dog but when they moved the dog somehow didn't move with them. Besides, Harry and Jimmy had confused the impecunious pup by renaming him Mozart, but in the end he was just called "Mo."
Yes, they felt lucky to share many things, but the best thing they shared was birthdays! The boys were born not only in the same hospital, but in the same delivery room, and at a time when most babies were delivered at home. Moreover, they were born just 5 minutes apart and were delivered by the same doctor.
James (Jimmy) Madison Day was born April 4, 1906, at 12:00 a.m., weighing in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. Clifford Harold (Harry) Killman, Jr. was born April 4, 1906, at 12:05 a.m., weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. Harry heard his mother say once that the only reason that he and Jimmy weren't born at the very same moment was that Dr. O'Shaughnessy, large as he was, still couldn't be in the same spot at the same time and she was bound and determined that he would be right there with her when baby came.
Jimmy and Harry were especially excited because their mothers had decided to have a formal dinner party for both boys this year because it was their tenth birthday. The best part of it was that they could decide between them whom they wanted to attend! The boys' mothers were quite surprised with the list because it read like a grownup's dinner party guest list. There was none of their school mates on the list.
At the top of the list was the organist and his wife from the Baptist Church, Mr. and Mrs. Edwin. The list went on to include Mr. Keith MacLeod, organist at the Presbyterian Church and Miss Melody Page, organist at the Methodist Church. On the list also was Miss Rydell the spinster librarian, and Mr. Huffermyer the bachelor motorman from the Park Street trolley line! All in all, it was not a long list but it was a quite an eclectic one. The boys even made their own invitations. A time was set, plans were made and invitations sent.
Jimmy and Harry eagerly anticipated the party. Their mothers, however, were mystified. Those boys were up to something and, indeed, they were.
Harry's mom had said that they were to entertain their guests. Jimmy's mom said that they must be on their very best behavior, and both moms had said they must be sure to introduce all of their guests. The boys knew what it meant to “entertain” their guests. Though they knew what “introduce” meant, Jimmy wanted to look it up in the dictionary at the Willowbranch Library.
It said “to lead to or make known by a formal act, announcement or recommendation.” Harry wasn't too sure about what that ought to mean. Jimmy read on: “To cause to be acquainted.” Acquainted? The dictionary further said: “To be recognized, to be known, to be familiar with.” The boys looked at each other. That they understood! This fit in nicely with part one of their plan.
Part two of their plan was already in preparation. This had started on a rainy day the summer after their eighth birthday. The boys were housebound due to the storm and had asked for permission to play in the attic of Jimmy's house.
Mrs. Day thought about this, then gave her approval. She was relieved feeling they could not get into too much mischief up there. Those boys were hard to keep entertained and they asked the craziest questions! Jimmy and Harry were as curious as cats -- but the problem was, unlike cats, they had hands. Still, she wasn't too concerned -- for though they had pulled some pranks, all right, they were not destructive boys.
Besides, they always seemed to learn from any experience they had!