By NANCY KARRICK
Special to Atmore News
Friday, October 6, was the date for a very special surprise for Linda Lumpkin Ellison. A retro birthday party was planned by Bonnie Latino and Nancy Karrick for their friend and childhood playmate Linda. The birthday girl was led to believe this was just an early Halloween party being given by Nancy and even helped make out the guest list.
The origin of the party goes way back to the early 1950s when three little girls, Linda Lumpkin, Susan Pipkin, and Carolyn Fischer, all celebrated their October birthdays together at one large party. In fact, an Atmore Advance news article describes their October 3, 1953, party as being held at the City Park with 60 children present. Sometimes, they were held at individual homes, but always with a large number of children, and always with a Halloween theme. This year’s party was no exception, using the Black Cat Halloween theme.
The ladies present played trivia games about Linda, her family, and cats and the winners received cat / Halloween appropriate prizes. Many of the adults present had never played “drop the clothespin in the milk bottle” and enjoyed trying their hand with the clothespins. Linda was declared the Black Cat for a Day, based on the old Queen for a Day television show.
Retro refreshments included cat face and arched back cat decorated cookies, candy corn shaped cookies, orange and black chips with pimento cheese dip, orange and black Oreos, and cheese straws as well as orange cupcakes with orange icing, topped with Halloween picks and a marshmallow pumpkin, plus the mandatory ice cream cups, complete with small wooden spoons. Also included were various other cookies and Halloween candies. After having Happy Birthday sung to her, Linda blew out the candles and the feast of goodies began.
As the ladies left, they were given favors of black flower pots with orange rick rack borders and filled with candy corn and homemade orange and black chocolate candies and colored chocolate suckers.
Attending the birthday party besides the birthday “girl” were Elaine Riley, Marilyn Davidson, and Claudia Campbell from Stockton, and Bess Maxwell, Betty Adams, Sandy Whittaker, Gay Drew, Becky McDonald, and Nancy Karrick of Atmore. Three others were present in spirit as they were out of town: Bonnie Latino, Carolyn Fischer Jenko, and Susan Pipkin Jantzen.
All would agree that, to quote Mrs. Peavy, “A good time was had by all.”