75 things (more or less) to know about the Birthday Boy
compiled by Annette and Jason
My husband, Jerry, turns 75 tomorrow. He's still a youthful and vibrant man who is a fabulous and interesting companion, makes us think and laugh, and always makes me feel special and loved. In honor of his birthday, our son Jason and I came up with this list of 75 things (more or less) that we love about him. Do you have any to add?
He is a deep thinker.He loves books, most kinds. One of his favorite things to do is sit in his leather recliner in our lounge and get lost in book. He reads “real” books, kindle, and listens to books via Audible. Any way he can get a book is good with him. He never goes anywhere without a book (which is easier now that he can load them onto his phone).
Recently he has been into good mystery and detective books.
Some of his favorite books are: Econometrics by Wonnacott and Wonnacott; The Lion’s Paw by Robb White; The Flashman Papers series by Geroge MacDonald Frasier; Glory Road by Robert Heinlein; and the Forever War by Joe Haldeman.
He is curious about the world and how it works. He learns new things all the time through books and learning courses. He’s a big fan of the Great Courses series and loves that he can get them on Audible now.
He loves cats especially big ginger cats.
His favorite cat of all time (and we have had great cats) was Orange Roughy who we got as a kitten right after we were married.
He likes dogs (if they are cat-like).
He loves to cook and does it often (thank heavens.)
He likes to make me steamed stone crab when it’s in season and silver dollar pancakes for special breakfasts.
He likes to shop and loves bargains. We say it’s his hunter-gatherer instinct.He finds all sorts of deals on Living Social and Amazon deals
He really really REALLY loves Costco and has visited Costcos wherever he has traveled (including 5 in the U.K., one in Mexico, and almost everyone around the Montreal area).
He likes soft sheets with cool patterns (like the ones with zebra stripes).
He loves opera and classical music.
His favorite operas include La Traviata, La Boheme, and Carmen.
He took me to my first opera which was Don Giovanni.
He’s always been a huge fan of Hank Williams (senior not junior) and Bill Monroe.
He’s loves Carole King (especially the Tapestry album), Buddy Holly, and for something different Janis Joplin.
Some of his favorite country songs are Brad Paisley’s “Ticks”, Josh Turner’s “Long Black Train”, Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin’”and Dierks Bentley’s “Free and Easy”. Also on his play list are the Doors “Stairway to Heaven” and “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin.
He loves to laugh.
Some of his favorite comedians are Jeff Foxworthy, Asiz Ansari, Ron White, and Bill Engwall.
Two of his favorite TV shows were Home Improvement with Tim Allen and Married With Children.
One of his favorite funny movies is “Airplane.”
He LOVES Netflix. He has binged watched all episodes of Futurama.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio where it snowed too much for his mother.
He was raised from a young age in Florida and remembers swimming in the canals in Miami when alligators were scarce but water moccasins weren’t.
He was the middle child.
He graduated from Miami-Edison High School by the skin of his teeth. His love of educational institutions and what he could learn there didn’t blossom until after the Navy.
He served in the Navy right out of high school (best way to get out of Miami) working with jets at a Navy base in Georgia. Thankfully he mustered out just as the Berlin Wall went up and Vietnam ramped up. He loathed every minute of his time in the Navy, but feels eternally grateful for what he learned from the experience and the advice he got from a mentor there (go to California and go to college.)
He asked Annette out on their first date in November of 1983 after chatting at an UC Irvine alumni cocktail party on a boat in Newport Harbor in Newport Beach.
During his years in academia he wrote and co-wrote many articles which appeared in many prestigious academic journals. A few of them are still cited every now and then.
After teaching investments in finance at Ohio State, York University in Toronto, and U.C. Irvine he joined a small mathematically oriented hedge fund. It was only one of a handful in existence at that time. A decade later he joined the pension fund investment group at Weyerhaeuser which took us north to Washington State.
He loves, loves, loves the sun. Which is why we live in Florida and not Washington State.
He does not miss the snow. Which is one reason we don’t live in Pennsylvania anymore
He loves yellow flowers especially sunflowers, yellow roses, apricot colored bougainvillea, and yellow/orange hibiscus or daylilies.
He adores bamboo. Our whole backyard would be bamboo if he had his way.
He loves the annual spring flower and garden sale at UCF arboretum. We go every year.
He was never much of a baseball fan. Baseball was always the passion of his brother and mother. But when I became a Rays fan he supported me. And now he keeps up with the team all season long. We have season tickets to which he brings his book J.
He loves cities. His favorite city to visit in North America is Montreal. His favorite city to live is St Petersburg, FL.
Jerry has lived in Cleveland, OH; Sanford and Miami, FL; Covina, Long Beach, West Hollywood, CA; Costa Mesa and Laguna Beach, CA; Columbus, OH; Toronto, Canada; Maple Valley and Issaquah, WA; Villanova, PA; and, St Pete, FL.
His favorite family vacation ever was when we camped in Baja on the Sea of Cortez with Jason, who was one-year old, and my mom. We kayaked and fished and napped in the shade.
He loves Chinese food.
He introduced me to sushi when we were first dating at a restaurant called, Genkai, in Corona del Mar. Jason continues the sushi loving tradition inherited from his dad.
He was afraid he’d pass out during my labor with Jason so we had a “backup” birth coach just in case. But instead, even though I had a c-section, he was so enthralled he just snapped photos the whole time…of the whole thing!
He loves rain-shower shower heads, a deep bathtub with a slant back, and hot tubs.
He loves red convertible sports cars. He has owned his 1982 Porsche 911 since it was brand new. He’s known Rosie longer than he’s known Annette! He bought Annette a convertible Firebird in 2003. He loves driving with the top down on the convertible on a cool, clear March evening in Florida.
He loves unusual ties but is glad he doesn’t have to wear them anymore.
He watches Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with Annette. Yes, officially, we’re old farts.
He likes playing dominoes, a game he learned from his mother, Violet. We play at dinner most nights.
He loves citrus trees and is happy he finally got a “cocktail citrus tree” for our yard (a tree with five different citrus fruits grafted onto it).
Jason loves when Jerry tells certain stories about when Jason was little, like the “YOU TELL ME” story and the time Jason dropped his juice bottle out the window of the car on the way home from Montessori day-care (he was about 2 ½)
Jerry has been super supportive of Jason and his creative endeavors, which Jason says he really REALLY appreciates
Jason also appreciates his dad’s sometimes oddball sense of humor. Like the time Jerry pretended to drive off from a park service bathroom as Jason walked out (we think Jason was about 7ish?) and Jason thought we really had forgotten him!
His favorite color is orange.
Just like Mario Batali, Jerry likes wearing crocs. He has them in all colors. And yes, he has them in orange.
He has a thing about tote bags. All kinds. Big, little, fabric, plastic. He collects them from all over.
He also collects knives (mostly pocket knives), salt and pepper shakers, and t-shirts from places we’ve traveled (yes, he has a lot of t-shirts.)
The only instrument he ever played was the accordion when he was young. He doesn’t have good memories of it! His favorite phrase regarding the accordion is “Use an accordion, go to jail.” Despite being Romanian he was never a oom-pa-pa band lover.
He absolutely adores stuffed cabbage and dill pickles with a hint of garlic like his mom used to make.
His favorite Mexican foods are chilequiles, carne asada, chile rellenos, and carnitas.
His favorite pie is banana cream.
He drinks his coffee black.
He starts every morning with a double espresso while reading Flipboard in bed with Annette.
Every June you will find Jerry with Annette and their good friends Peg and Jeff at the four-day CMA Music Fest in Nashville. This year will be their 10th year at the festival
He loves the idea of growing tomatoes, but we haven’t been very successful at it since moving to Florida.
One of his favorite activities is going to a really good farmer’s market. Two of his favorites are Marche Jean Talon in Montreal and the Wagon Wheel in Pinellas her in Florida
Jerry is still friends with two men, Leo and Jerry, he met in undergraduate school in the early 1960s.
Jerry loves roseate spoonbills and sandhill cranes.
He really likes turtles, all kinds. He has a special fondness for the red-eared sliders that sun themselves on the “turtle dock” near our house on Coffee Pot Bayou.
He thinks manatees are wonderful and appreciates they sometime come up the canal near our house.
He loves giving presents.
He loves trying out new technology even when the difference between a sim card and a micro SD card slips by him.
He’s the only person in the family to have drunk the kool-aid and get an iphone. And since he now has more apps than God, he’ll never switch.
He has the most email addresses of anyone either Annette or Jason has ever known.
He works hard at eating well and staying fit (which Jason says is “inspirational given his age”).
His favorite place to take a walk is Sawgrass Lake Park a few miles from our home.
He loves to travel and see new places even if that is just the next county over.
He loves to drive and discover new routes to familiar places. Let’s hope that in 10 years on his 85th, he is still discovering new routes to familiar places.
Happy Birthday Jerry!