AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2He waited. She didn’t call. As the day wore on, he became more and more chagrined. “She’s never forgotten my birthday before,” he said. “Here I am, 64, and I haven’t seen her for about four years. I was really disappointed.” Other people remembered. Some of his friends from the 40 and Up Singles dance club called to wish him a happy day and one of them, Sandy Brown, told him she was taking him to dinner at the Olive Garden restaurant to celebrate. “I liked that,” he said. “Sandy is somebody who always knows how to make a ho-hum day special. I could be myself with her.” Unbeknownst to him, Sandy and Bea Wright, another friend, had planned a party for him and had sworn every invited guest to secrecy. PALMDALE – When Palmdale senior Manny Perry walked into a special area of the Olive Garden for dinner May 15, he had the surprise of his life. Forty of his close friends and three family members shouted, “Happy Birthday!” When he got up that morning, he looked forward to some felicitations – maybe not a lot, but at least a few – and especially a telephone call from his sister, Marie Benton, in Modesto. “Sunday, I had called her to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. I thought it was such a good opportunity, she might mention it then and not have to make another call,” he said. “She didn’t say a word, so I just knew she’d call me in the morning, as she usually does.” They even contacted Benton to see if she could make it. She was thrilled to be included and since it was to be a surprise, she deliberately refrained from any mention of his birthday when she talked to her brother the previous Sunday. Not only did Benton come to the party, so did her daughter Shelly Dewilms and granddaughter Kirsten Dewilms. They all drove down from Modesto to be there for Manny’s big surprise. They had to make it a turn-around trip, though, and drive home again that night. Perry could hardly believe it. His face reflected his happiness as he hugged and kissed them all. A regular at the singles club dances on Sundays at the Lancaster Elks Club, Perry is a gourmet cook. He often entertains friends in his home, where his culinary creations are laid out in every room. He also has a music and recreation room for dancing. “It’s been a wonderful birthday after all,” he said. qqq Menus for the week at the senior life nutrition sites in Lancaster and Palmdale have been announced. All meals include bread, margarine and coffee, tea or milk, for a suggested donation of $2. Monday: Hot roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, winter squash, marinated beets, apple pie. Tuesday: Chicken divan, buttered noodles, stewed tomatoes, coleslaw, gelatin with fruit. Wednesday: Roast pork, bread dressing, peas and carrots, marinated beets, orange. Thursday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, spinach, tossed salad, peaches. Friday: Taco salad, macaroni salad, tapioca pudding. Bettie Rencoret can be contacted at (661) 943-2998.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!