February, when I was growing up, was known as the “Birthday Month,” primarily, I believe, because Abraham Lincoln and George Washington were born on the 12th and 22nd of February, respectively.
Return with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when elementary school teachers everywhere adorned the all-important hallway bulletin board in red craft paper, scattered hearts here and there, and prominently placed silhouettes of the Father of our Country and Honest Abe, the Rail Splitter, amidst the hearts.
You remember that exact billboard, don’t you?
I was a Cub Scout. Pack 60. Porterdale, Ga. Merritt Hertwig, Florence Sears and Ruth Brooks were my Den Mothers. Coleman Henry and Walter Pope were the Cubmasters. I was blessed. Those good folks all positively impacted my life. The Cub Scouts had a Blue and Gold Banquet every February. Cub Scouts from all over our district and their parents and leaders came together for dinner and a program.
One year our pack hosted the Blue and Gold Banquet at the Porterdale Hotel. I am certain that we had the best food ever served at such an event because Mrs. Effie Boyd cooked it. Our pack was also in charge of the program, and every Cub Scout in our group dressed up like a famous person with a February birthday.
I think Randy Layson was Abraham Lincoln. His mama made him a stovepipe hat out of black poster paper and he wore his Sunday suit and a fake beard that kept falling off his face, but he looked as much like Abe as anybody I had ever seen at that point in my life. I was 9.
I can’t remember who portrayed George Washington.
I got to be Babe Ruth, who was born on Feb. 6. It was easy. All I had to do was get Coach B.C. Crowell to dig out one of the Porterdale Yankees baseball uniforms for me to wear. I already had a round belly.
I can’t remember all of the birthdays represented. It has been six decades, after all, but I do know that there was a Thomas Edison (Feb. 11), which was an easy outfit as well. Put on your Sunday clothes, put Johnson’s baby powder in your hair and carry a light bulb around. Bingo.
Somebody else was Galileo (Feb. 15). He had to wear bloomers and his sister’s blouse and carry a globe and a small telescope around with him. We had a Charles Lindberg, too. Feb. 4. Bomber jacket, leather helmet and a model airplane. Like I said, I don’t remember the other historical figures represented in our little tableau, but it obviously made quite an impression on me.
I did a little research this week to see who we might have omitted, or who we might add if we were to have a modern-day Blue and Gold Banquet. I learned that Rosa Parks was born on Feb. 4. In 1961 Rosa Parks was about five years removed from becoming the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement and her contributions to society were not yet fully appreciated by the local populace. Ronald Wilson Reagan shares Babe Ruth’s birthday, but he was hawking 20 Mule Team Borax on “Death Valley Days” in 1961, which is not something that we would have really celebrated at our banquet, although a cowboy hat would have been easy to come by.
William T. Sherman was born on Feb. 8, but nobody in Porterdale was about to celebrate his birthday.
Now, believe it or not, I told you all of that to tell you this.
February is still and forever more will be remembered as “The Birthday Month” in the Huckaby family because on Feb. 4, 2020, Brittney George Huckaby, daughter of Chris and Krystin George of the Berkeley Lake Georges and wife of Jackson Lee Huckaby, son of Lisa Huckaby and yours truly, gave birth to Walker Lee Huckaby, soon to be known as Prince Walker the Precious — in Athens, Ga., hallowed be thy name.
This is significant for a couple of reasons. My son, Jackson Lee, heretofore, had been the last male child of our family line, so the Huckaby name will live on. And secondly, there is another precious child of God on this planet — a child who is loved and who will be trained up in the way he should go.
And thirdly, his Papa Huck is still here to love him. And I already do. My cup runneth over.