First, I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who participated in Michael's 2003 birthday surprise...which, like last year, proved an amazing joint endeavor by the large supportive family who all in one way or another share the McDermott name. And, "large" is indeed yet again an appropriate word here, as the call for submissions once more included responses from all across the United States, and even as far away as Spain and Israel! (underscoring a fact which we "paupers" have long known, of course...that Michael is indeed a "world-class" artist!)
And, on 8/21/03, the gift was sent out via Express Mail -- with verification of its receipt subsequently arriving on 8/22.
So, now that the date of the event for which it was intended has officially passed, here's a glimpse at our collective experiences along "The Pauper Road"...
As a last-minute touch, the package was topped off with a bit of festive wrapping...
...which once removed reveals the scrapbook's cover, on which is pictured a dirt road beside the quote, "Around each bend in life's path, new memories are made"...
And, to briefly explain/introduce the gift to Michael upon opening the book, I included an appropriately "scrapped"/pieced together version of the intro to the project which you all read on this site... (click on any picture to enlarge it).
But, the heart of the gift, needless to say, is found within the pages...which include complex drawings, creative homemade cards and collage collections, beautifully simple written expressions of appreciation in letter form and much more. Here is just a sampling... (Note: I have not enlarged these further or made thumbnails for them as I feel each represents a personal gift to Michael and as such the messages of each should remain a private matter between the participant and Michael himself. I merely wish to let everyone involved see a bit of what you chose to become a part of, and offer an overview of (at least a portion of) our collective finished product.)
But, of course, no birthday greeting is complete without...well, a birthday greeting, right? So, following everyone's submissions I added an additional page...
...one left intentionally incomplete as a reminder that the journey is a continuing one along the book's title, once more echoed on its final page...
Well, there it is, everyone! Thanks for allowing me to be your messenger on this, and for sharing your hard work and heartfelt messages to Michael. It was truly my privilege to be a part of this with you!!!
And, of course, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me anytime!!! firstname.lastname@example.org