By Linda Elissalde
George Strong told his friends that turning 87 on Saturday, June 8, 2024 was not a special age. However, he reckoned without his family and friends thinking George is special at any age. His sister Sharry and Crystal Beach neighbor Nanette Gans decided that George needed a birthday surprise. Nanette included me in on the information. Nanette and husband Mike took George for a birthday dinner at Stingaree several days before Saturday. They dropped him off back home after a delightful feast. George settled in for a quiet evening.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. Who could that be? He slowly opened his door to – surprise! There stood sister Sharry and husband Dominic Tamborriello smiling and shouting, “Happy Birthday”. They had flown from out of state to Hobby Airport, rode the Galveston van to Bolivar Ferry, then across the pond, picked up by the Gans and delivered to George’s stair steps. Yep! George was surprised. However, that is not the end of the tale as other surprises were to follow.

Sharry’s granddaughter, television reporter Shannon Heckt, and friend Maggie Vincent drove all the way from Baton Rouge, LA to share in George’s 87th. Nanette and Sharry had more on their agenda. Friends Loretta and Pat Walsh, Pamela Couch, Marcel and Linda Carole Elissalde along with daughter Kitty Owens showed up Saturday afternoon for a Happy Birthday Party Celebration. Happy it was with chocolate cake, yummy hor’dourves, cards and presents galore. Friends and relatives mingled to share George stories. Sharry and Nanette had definitely surprised Mr. Strong.

Actually, George’s 87th birthday was more than just one surprise, it was a case of many SURPRISES! That is because ANY birthday for George Strong is a special birthday!

By Dominic Tamborriello

Giving without fanfare or need of praise
Even keeled in the midst of political turmoil
Open always to life’s challenges and changes
Reaching out as a brother without needing to be asked
Gladly helping others grow
Exceptional at being a friend.

Saying what needs said and no more
Taking time to listen until we feel heard
Remembering what’s worth remembering
Overcoming more that others would have
Nurturing every child and dog lucky enough to be spotted
Grateful for God’s blessings while offering us so many reasons to be grateful.

[LCE: Jun-18-2024]

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