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Mike Tasos: Let the birthday celebrations commence ... quietly
Mike Tasos

It’s birthday weekend here at Casa Tasos. The revelry has been tumultuous. I hope the neighbors are not offended or have had the cops on speed-dial since Friday.

Always priding myself as someone who shares, there’s been no hogging of candles on my part.

You see, dear readers, my wonderful spouse, Vicki, whom I write about every once in awhile, shares a birthday with me. Same year, same county. I’m taking top billing. I’m an hour older.

The part about the cops breaking up a “blowout” or whatever a party is called nowadays is complete fabrication. No way I’d want to offend neighbors who might be thinking about punctuating dog walks by encouraging the depositing of dog-droppings on the lawn as payback for no invitation.

And rest-assured, any of you hearing-impaired who think it’s time to change the hearing-aid batteries, no need to go shopping. You missed nothing.

Quiet is the order of the day around here. There are times when I’ll sneak down into the basement and let loose some jet-engine decibel level blasts from the speakers.

After all, music is better when it’s loud. Well, maybe not jazz. But classic rock and country sure are.

Enough birthday nonsense. I’d just as soon not have any more. Wait. That didn’t sound cheery. How about this: Lot’s more birthdays, we’ll just quit counting.

I need some time to perfect this “semi-empty nester” thing. I’m pretty sure Vicki is going to do better than me.

Last Saturday, she busied herself with church activities while I thought about tackling a desk that conjures up memories of the day after Hiroshima without radiation burns.

Vicki is also in top form with maternal activities. Along with Chester, we had Zeke as a pet guest this week. Zeke is the sweetest German Shepherd ever. 

Not sure how much German he has in him. I tried to get him to watch World War II footage on The History Channel. He yawned and made sure I knew he, at 91 in dog years, just wanted a good head scratch.

Zeke’s owner, Cindi Yarborough, was watching grandson Ethan Hankins, make his 2019 professional baseball debut for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

I tried to tell Zeke and Chester that the Forsyth Central graduate threw four no-hit innings, allowed no hits, and struck out four West Virginia Black Bears.

The four-legged amigos were unmoved. They wanted to know when it was time to eat and if that orange cat was coming back so they could chase it.

As happens all the time around here, Vicki is feeding a deer family. One doe is ready to download a fawn or two. More apples and bread and whatever else the internet says deer like to eat is on the shopping list. 

This is something that has been going on ever since we lived here (25 years). Chris could barely talk when he named two fawns on unsteady legs Mia and Tia. No idea how many generations we’ve fed in those 25 years.

Unless we’re talking funeral or wedding, I’m not much for church other than a Saturday evening/Sunday morning. Vicki’s better at that than me.

I know, I know. Semi-heathen!

After driving through our quiet little town on a Saturday morning, I imagined what it used to be: very little traffic, quiet, and a sense of calm in the air.

With a shining sun and a robin’s egg blue sky, it was possible to forget how big we’ve become. 

I decided to abandon my picking through the carnage of my office. I headed for The Boneyard, home of Forsyth Central baseball.

There was a youth baseball tournament going on. I had an enjoyable time shooting the breeze with Coach Kevin McCollum. I sold hot dogs, burgers, chips, soft drinks and candy. 

After feeling like the venue was a second home, one where I seemingly knew everyone, this was different.

Other than the coach, I knew no one. I enjoyed watching parents and coaches berating umpires. Amazingly, the umpires’ streak of never having changed a call remains unbroken.

After running at break-neck speed every weekend for so many years, I didn’t need to be anywhere. 

I didn’t even wear a watch.

Mike Tasos’ column is published every other Sunday.  This weekend is meant for celebration. Not because of his birthday. It’s the first official weekend of summer. Except for Forsyth County students. Their school year starts in 39 days. Comments can be sent to He is also on Facebook.