Best Present for Dad is a Visit From Daughter

What is the best birthday present you can give someone? For families far-flung around the globe, just arriving in person is a perfect gift. On February 24th, when we gathered at our friend Michael Ceurvorst’s beautiful home on Kauai for his 70th birthday, we were treated to the company of his daughter Lucille Teckla, who joined us from Hong Kong.

Michael with daughter Lucille and birthday cupcakes

Michael’s daughter Lucille Teckla in from Hong Kong to celebrate Michael’s 70th birthday

Michael wrote us:

We — Michael Anthony, Lucille Alice, and our beautiful daughter Lucille Teckla journeying here from Hong Kong – welcome you Sunday Feb 24, 4 – 8 p.m. on the last day of my 69th year, for all the p’s above: poetry, politics, pool, ping-pong, pupus.

On poetry, an invite. I will read seven of my own poems, not really one from each decade though that’s the symbolic import. Anyone so inclined please bring a poem meaningful to you so we can share poetry in our lives. 

On politics I will utter a few insightful generalities about today’s twisty turns, and welcome anyone — particularly those currently engaged in the profession — to share her/his observations, pains or pleasures. Think functionally, not partisanly: Are our tools right for the job? What interests/forces/ideals contend? Contexts can be local, regional, national, global, epochal, as you wish.

Guests enjoying Michael Cuervorst reading his poetry at his birthday party

Guests enjoying Michael’s poetry

Per Michael’s request in his invitation, several of us brought poems and read them to the group. Lee Morey wrote one for the occasion and presented it in a frame.

Man in the Middle poem for Michael Ceurvorst by Lee Morey

Man in the Middle poem for Michael Ceurvorst by Lee Morey. Please click to enlarge image.

JoAnn Yukimura reading poem

JoAnn Yukimura sharing poem

I read a poem by my father which resonated with quite a few people so I wanted to provide the link to it here: The Kiss

There were special musical performances, also a great gift idea for Dad.

playing violin for Dad birthday

Olivia, Pat and Marghee Gegen’s daughter, playing violin for Michael

violin playing for birthday appreciated

Michael applauding Olivia’s violin playing

Arius Hopman played the flute for Michael. He asked the room if anyone could join him in playing a second flute and Cal Sears stepped up. These traditional flutes were made in Kalalau from Hawaiian bamboo found on Na Pali. Arius made the tuning Arabic.

flute playing for birthday

Arius Hopman playing flute for Michael’s birthday

flute duet for birthday

Flute duet by Cal Sears and Arius Hopman

Cal Sears on traditional wood flute

Cal Sears kindly volunteers to accompany Arius Hopman for flute duet

Michael’s wife Lucille Alice and their daughter Lucille Teckla prepared birthday cupcakes for this big occasion. Each cupcake had a number on it from 1 to 70.

Mother and daughter with Birthday Cupcakes

Mother and daugher with Birthday Cupcakes they prepared

Mother and daughter with Dad blowing out birthday candles

Mother and daughter with Michael blowing out birthday candles

Of course guests help make a party a memorable event. The guests joined Michael in contributing to the robust and very interesting discussion on the state of the American political system.

talking political systems at birthday party

JoAnn and others contributed to a very interesting discussion on the workability of our political systems

After the group discussion, we enjoyed food, ping pong, pool and each each other’s company.

Hostess Lucille Alice with guests

Hostess Lucille Alice Barale Ceurvorst with guests, JoAnn Yukimura, Yvette Bamhas, Bill Hackett and John Zwiebel

Guests at birthday party Joe and Lee

Joe Sylvester, Michael and Lee Morey

Guests at birthday party Lee with Michael

Lee Morey with Michael

Guests at birthday party

Michael with Catherine Petterson and Arius Hopman

violin player, Michael, Neil Zaslow

Joanna Carolan, violinist Olivia Gegen, Michael and Neil Zaslow

Unique Gift Ideas For Dad

  • Visit from an important family member
  • Poetry
  • Music performance in his honor
  • Birthday Cupcakes, one for each year
  • Documenting event in photographs and/or video
  • Create a blog post so guests and well wishers can send messages to Dad for his birthday.
  • Dad with daughter in from Hong Kong

    Michael with daughter, Lucille Teckla Ceurvorst Wolff, and Catherine Petterson

    Photos by Ray Gordon

    We forgot to tell people about the guest register at the entrance, so if you didn’t leave a message there or even if you did, please take this opportunity in the comments here to leave a message for Michael.

    About Linda Sherman

    International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Managing Editor, Boomer Tech Talk, she is passionate about senior services including senior health care and housing. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Her company, The Courage Group, provides personal and start-up branding, digital film; social marketing strategy and training.

    Connect with Linda Sherman on Twitter and Instagram @LindaSherman.


    1. This was truly a lovely evening.  A diverse group of people that had a penchant for poetry, politics. pool, ping-pong and pupus.  In gatherings of this nature we all learn more about each other, hidden talents, likes and dislikes, and an overall appreciation for our differences.   Thanks for a lovely evening celebrating Michaels 70th and Linda and Ray’s ability to memorialize it all.

    2. RayJGordon says

      Events at Michael and Lucille’s marvelous home high in the Kalaheo hills are always fun – and very informative.  This event was no different – lots of time to relax and reflect, while getting to know new acquaintances and renew connections with friends from around Kauai and elsewhere.  Can’t wait for the next opportunity to “talk story” with you all… mahalo to Michael and Lucille for hosting a memorable gathering!

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