365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Birthday Party

(Photo from Inspiredbycharm.com)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s is now a literal “thing,” not just the title of a Truman Capote novella and an Audrey Hepburn movie. Inside Tiffany & Company’s iconic, flagship jewelry store at 727 Fifth Avenue in New York City, is The Blue-Box Café. 

This is our destination for “The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Birthday Party.” We are swooning through tastings of their much-coveted “10-Carat Breakfast” featuring Siberian Ossetra Caviar over buttermilk waffles with lemon crème fraiche. The in-store chef has also agreed to salute our joy-giving honorees with additional selections like Gwyneth Paltrow Goop Soup and Al Capp Dogpatch Ham. 


You feel the joy as you ease onto the Tiffany blue leather banquettes and hear a strolling balladeer sing the first words of “Moon River, wider than a mile, we’re crossing you in style…” 

HOORAY FOR THE JOY-GIVERS! (Note: The comments attributed to these famous joy-givers come from words they have written or said.) 


Sept. 25—WILL SMITH (Willard Carroll Smith, Jr.) is an actor, rapper and film producer. The Philly, PA native achieved fame as a rapper under the name, “Fresh Prince.” His popularity soared with the 1990-1996 television sitcom, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” He has been called, “the most bankable star in the world,” and “the most powerful actor in Hollywood.” His films have earned $7.5 billion worldwide. 

Sept. 26—SERENA WILLIAMS (Serena Jameka Williams) is widely regarded to be one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. In 2015, Sports Illustrated magazine, named her “Sportsperson of the Year.” She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles. In terms of career prize money, she stands as the highest-earning female athlete of all time. 

Sept. 27—GWYNETH PALTROW is an Oscar-winning actress, model, businesswoman, singer and author. Her films include: “Seven,” “Emma,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The Royal Tenenbaums.” She is the face of Estee Lauder’s “Pleasures” perfume and the founder of the lifestyle brand, Goop. 

Sept. 28—AL CAPP (Alfred Gerald Caplin) was a cartoonist, humorist and radio/television commentator. He spent 43 years teaching the world about the community he named “Dogpatch” via his syndicated, hillbilly burlesque comic strip, “Lil’ Abner,” which was published in 900 newspapers and eagerly read by 900 American newspapers each week. 

At the age of 9, Capp was run down by a trolley car and his leg was amputated above the knee. A Connecticut Yankee of Jewish heritage, Capp said, “The secret of how to live without resentment or embarrassment in a world in which I was different from everyone else, was to be indifferent to that indifference.” Capp won the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award. He added these two terms to the English language: “Sadie Hawkins Day” and “double whammy.” His colorful characters from “Lil’ Abner” morphed into a successful feature film, numerous advertising product campaigns and in 1956, became a long-running Broadway musical comedy. 

Sept. 29—JERRY LEE LEWIS has been described as “rock-and-roll’s first wild man and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.” The joy-giving pioneer of rock-and-roll and of rockabilly scored his first hit with “Crazy Arms” which was recorded by Sun Records (Memphis), but, it was “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” that catapulted him to worldwide fame. This was followed by his wowza wordplay and showmanship on “Great Balls of Fire.” 

He has a dozen gold records, four Grammy Awards and is inducted in the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame and in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. One music historian wrote of Lewis, “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee Lewis the quintessential rock-and-roller.” 

Sept. 30—TRUMAN CAPOTE (born Truman Streckfus Persons) was a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and actor. He is considered the creator of the “nonfiction novel” genre with the bestseller, “In Cold Blood.” His works have been adapted into more than 20 films and television dramas. Several of his short stories, novels and plays are considered literary classics, including, “Breakfast At Tiffany’s.” 

Oct. 1—JIMMY CARTER is the nation’s most-famous peanut farmer since George Washington Carver. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center. The motto of the Carter Center is: “Waging peace. Fighting disease. Building hope.” Mr. Carter is often recognized as a very good former President of the United States. 


“Smiling is the best way to face every problem, crush every fear and hide every pain.”—Will Smith 

“I’m lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”—Serena Williams 

“I’m superstitious. Before I start a movie, I always kill a hobo with a hammer.”—Gwyneth Paltrow 

“Success is following the pattern of life one most enjoys.”—Al Capp 

“Either be hot or cold. If you are lukewarm, the Lord will spew you forth from His mouth.”—Jerry Lee Lewis 

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”—Truman Capote 

“We should live our lives as if Christ was coming this afternoon.”—Jimmy Carter 

“Don’t try to be the greatest wall that’s ever been built. Focus on laying a single, expertly placed brick. Then, keep doing that every day.”—Will Smith 

“It’s me, and I love me. I learned to love me. I’ve been like this my whole life, and I embrace me. I love how I look. I love that I’m a full woman and I’m strong and I’m powerful and I’m beautiful at the same time. There is nothing wrong with that.”—Serena Williams 

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.”—Gwyneth Paltrow 

“The public is like a piano. You just have to know which keys to play.”—Al Capp 

“Other people—they practice and practice…these fingers of mine, they got brains in ‘em. You don’t tell them what to do—they do it; God given talent.”—Jerry Lee Lewis 

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”—Jimmy Carter 

“The brain may take advice but not the heart.”—Truman Capote 

“Don’t chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard.”—Will Smith 

“I think in life, you should work on yourself until the day you die.”—Serena Williams 

“I have a highly developed sense of denial.”—Gwyneth Paltrow 

“Any place that anyone can learn something useful from someone with experience is an educational institution.”—Al Capp 

“My momma always said, ‘You and Elvis are pretty good, but y’all ain’t no Chuck Berry.’”—Jerry Lee Lewis 

“If you weren’t here, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be, doing anything you wanted to do, where would you be and what would you be doing?”—Truman Capote 

“We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles.”—Jimmy Carter 

“Your life will become better by making other lives better.”—Will Smith 

“And, if you smile, things will work out.”—Serena Williams 

“I love men, even though they’re lying, cheating scumbags.”—Gwyneth Paltrow 

“Anyone who can walk to the welfare office can walk to work.”—Al Capp 

“If I’m going to hell, I’m dragging the audience with me.”—Jerry Lee Lewis 

“It’s a scientific fact that if you stay in California, you lose one point of your IQ every year.”—Truman Capote 

“America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense…human rights invented America.”—Jimmy Carter 

“In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know, yet.”—Will Smith 

“Victory is very, very sweet. It tastes better than any dessert you’ve ever had.”—Serena Williams 

“I eat whatever I want. I like bread and cheese and wine, and that makes life fun and enjoyable.”—Gwyneth Paltrow 

“Today’s younger generation is no worse than my own. We were just as ignorant and repulsive as they are, but nobody listened to us.”—Al Capp 

“We have not become a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic.”—Jimmy Carter 


APPETIZER—Jerry Lee Lewis Great Sausage Balls of Fire (mrfood.com) 

SOUP/SALAD—Gwyneth Paltrow Everything Green Goop Soup (goop.com) 

ENTRÉE—Al Capp Lil’ Abner Dogpatch Ham (strattonmagazine.com) 

SIDE DISH—Jimmy Carter Peanut Sauce Veggies (pinchofyum.com) 

BREAD—Truman Capote Tiffany Blue Berry Bread (allrecipes.com) 

BEVERAGE—Serena Williams Grand Slam Cocktail (recipe below) 

DESSERT—Will Smith Men in Black Walnut Pie (yummly.com) 

ONE TO GROW ON—The original cast album of the Broadway hit show, “LIL’ ABNER,” based on the characters and stories of Al Capp, should carry this warning label: CAUTION, THESE SONGS MAY CAUSE EAR WORMS. If you think you’ve become immune to anything that isn’t gloom during the pandemic, test hear “Jubilation T. Cornpone” or “Oh, Happy Day” or just about any tune in this joy-giving, tune-packed show.  

“The Breakfast at Tiffany’s Birthday Party” ended with Will Smith Men in Black Walnut Pie and a choice of Champagne, mimosas or another Serena Williams Grand Slam cocktail. Tiffany & Co. silversmiths engraved a special, Lil’ Abner character charm for each honoree.  

Jerry Lee Lewis sashayed from the Tiffany blue banquette to a piano bench to play rockabilly renditions of requests from the group. Then, they all joined him to rock these joy-giving lyrics: 

“You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain. 

Too much love drives a man insane. 

You broke my will, but what a thrill. 


I laughed at love when I thought it was funny.  

But you came along and you moved me, honey. 

I’ve changed my mind, this love is fine. 


                                                 SERENA WILLIAMS GRAND SLAM COCKTAIL 

                                                        (source: diffordsguide.com) 


2 fluid ounces Swedish Punsch Liqueur 

1 fluid ounces Noilly Pratt Extra Dry 

1 fluid ounces Martini Rosso sweet vermouth 

Fresh strawberry for garnish 


Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled Martini glass. Garnish with fresh strawberry.