365 AMERICAN JOY-GIVERS for 2021: The Stars and Stripes Forever Birthday Party

(Photo from Familiekocht.com)

Royal Princess Grace Kelly grew up in a charming two-and-half-story American Colonial-style house at 3901 Henry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. This is our destination for “The Stars and Stripes Forever Birthday Party.”

The house was built in 1928 by Grace Kelly’s dad, John B. Kelly, a three-time Olympic gold medalist for rowing.

In 2016, the princess’s son, Prince Albert of Monaco, purchased the home to return ownership to the family. Beautifully restored, the house now serves as the American headquarters of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation which supports environmental issues. The house also provides a place to hold events for The Princess Grace Foundation—USA which provides scholarships and career assistance to emerging talent in theater, dance and film—three areas of the arts to which the princess dedicated her passion.


You feel the joy as you march up the sidewalk to the invigorating music of John Philip Sousa. Our party is in the basement of the Royal Princess Grace Kelly House and you hear laughter from the bar room which the family called—Kelly Tavern.

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


Nov. 6—JOHN PHILIP SOUSA was in his life (1854-1932) the “American March King” and he retains that lofty status even today. He wrote and published hundreds of thrilling marches. Among the best-known works of this composer and band master are “Semper Fidelis” (the official march of the United States Marine Corps), “The Liberty Bell,” “The Washington Post,” “The Thunderer” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Sousa aided in the development of the large brass instrument similar to a Mama-sized tuba—a “Sousaphone.”

Nov. 7—BILLY GRAHAM (William Franklin Graham, Jr.) was an ordained Southern Baptist preacher who became one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. His evangelical indoor and outdoor rallies became huge events and were broadcast on radio and television.

According to his staff, more than 3.2 million people have accepted his invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to “accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their personal savior.” He was on “Gallup’s list of most admired men and women in America” a record 61 times. Grant Wicker wrote that by the mid-1960s, “Graham’s presence conferred status on U.S. Presidents, acceptability of war, shame on racial prejudice, desirability on decency, dishonor on indecency and prestige on civic events.”

Nov. 8—BONNIE RAITT is a blues singer, guitar-playing phenomena, songwriter and lyricist. She has received 10 Grammy Awards and is listed at #50 in “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.” An Australian music critic wrote, “Bonnie Raitt does something with a lyric no one else can do; she bends it and twists it right into your heart.” Her hits include “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (with Bruce Hornsby on piano), and “Something to Talk About.”

Nov. 9—CARL SAGAN was America’s favorite “Starman” of his time. He was an astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author and science communicator. His best-known scientific contribution is the research on extraterrestial life.

He narrated and co-wrote the 1980 television series, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage,” which is the most widely watched series in the history of public television. Among his many awards: the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, a Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, two Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award and the Hugo Award.

Nov. 10—DONNA FARGO (born Yvonne Vaughn) is synonymous with “The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA,” the singer-songwriter’s biggest hit. She has a Grammy Award, five awards from the Academy of Country Music and has also been awarded by the Country Music Association. The North Carolina native became a high school English teacher after graduating from the University of Southern California (USC). The Academy of Country Music Awards named her the “Top New Female Vocalist” in 1969.

Nov. 11—JONATHAN WINTERS (Jonathan Harshman Winters III) was a comedian, actor, author, television host and artist. He had 11 Grammy nominations for classic comedy albums and won twice—Best Album for Children (1975) and Best-Spoken Comedy Album for “Crank(y) Calls” (1996). He was a Primetime Emmy Award winner and was the second recipient of the highly coveted Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Nov. 12—GRACE KELLY (Grace Patricia Kelly) was an Oscar-winning actress who became the real life Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III in April, 1956. The Philadelphia, Penn. native was a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and appeared in more than 40 live drama productions. Her notable film works include: “Mogambo,” “The Country Girl,” “High Noon,” “High Society,” “Dial M for Murder,” “Rear Window” and “To Catch a Thief.” She is listed 13th among the American Film Institute’s “25 Greatest Female Stars of Classical Hollywood Cinema.”


“Anybody can write music of a sort. But touching the public hear is quite another thing.”—John Philip Sousa

“I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out all right.”—Billy Graham

“Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste.”—Bonnie Raitt

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”—Carl Sagan

“Decide that life is good and you are special. Decide to enjoy today.”

“I have a photographic memory; I just haven’t developed it yet.”—Jonathan Winters

“When at last I took the time to look into the heart of a flower, it opened up a whole new world; a world where every country walk would be an adventure, where every garden would become an enchanted one.”—Grace Kelly

“The red and white and starry blue is freedom’s shield and hope.”—John Philip Sousa

“God never takes away something from your life without replacing it with something better.”—Billy Graham

“I can’t make you love me, if you don’t.”—Bonnie Raitt

“I’ll close my eyes so I won’t see, all of the love you don’t feel for me.”—Bonnie Raitt

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”—Carl Sagan

“When we speak our words to God with thanksgiving and release them with the faith that our requests will be granted, we put ourselves in a position to receive.”—Donna Fargo

“Well, the most terrible fear that anybody should have is not war, is not a disease, not cancer or heart problems or food poisoning—it’s a man or a woman without a sense of humor.”—Jonathan Winters

“A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.”—Grace Kelly

“Jazz will endure just as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.”—John Philip Sousa

“Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength.”—Billy Graham

“I thought I had to live that partying lifestyle in order to be authentic, but in fact, if you keep it up too long, all you’re going to be is sloppy or dead.”—Bonnie Raitt

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”—Carl Sagan

“Make every day special…Appreciate the gift of your own life.”—Donna Fargo

“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”—Jonathan Winters

“My nerves could use a drink.”—Grace Kelly

“A composer’s pen is still mightier than the bow of a violinist; in you lie all the possibilities of the creation of beauty.”—John Philip Sousa

“God has given us two hands—one to receive with and one to give with. We are not cisterns for hoarding, but channels made for sharing.”—Billy Graham

“Religion is for people who are scared to go to Hell. Spirituality is for people who have already been there.”—Bonnie Raitt

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”—Carl Sagan

“Words of encouragement, a little respect, simple gestures of kindness from a teacher promote the perfect climate for students to study, learn and grow.”—Donna Fargo

“God is in my head, but the devil is in my pants.”—Jonathan Winters

“I avoid looking back. I prefer good memories to regrets.”—Grace Kelly

“There is one thing that freezes a musician more than the deadliest physical cold, and that is the spiritual chill of an unresponsive audience.”—John Philip Sousa

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man (or woman) takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”—Billy Graham

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff.”—Carl Sagan

“Ask no more of yourself than the best that you can do, and be satisfied with that.”—Donna Fargo

“As I get older, I just become an older kid.”—Jonathan Winters

“The freedom of the press works in such a way that there is not much freedom from it.”—Grace Kelly

“Imagination will carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”—Carl Sagan


APPETIZER—Donna Fargo Happy as a Clam Appetizer (yummly.com)

SOUP—Bonnie Raitt Blue Mussel Soup (food.com)

ENTRÉE—John Philip Sousa Stars and Striped Bass (chow.com)

SIDE DISH—Jonathan Winters Squash (tasteofhome.com)

BREAD—Carl Sagan Cinnamon Star (kingarthurbaking.com)

BEVERAGE—Royal Princess Grace Kelly Monaco Cocktail (greygoose.com)

DESSERT—Billy Graham Thanksgiving Bible Cake (see below)

ONE TO GROW ON—In a little gift book by Dini von Mueffling titled “The 50 Most Romantic Things Ever Done,” I ran across this lovely description of the wedding day of Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier— “On August 19, 1956, in Monaco’s hilltop cathedral, Grace Patricia accepted the charge offered her by the bishop to marry Ranier Louis Henri Maxence Betrand. The bride wore a dress created for her by the Hollywood costume designer Helen Rose, consisting of 150 yards of Valenciennes lace, silk, silk tulle and taffeta. As much fabric as was involved, the dress looked simple and elegant and the bride stunning in it. The groom wore a military uniform he designed himself, decorated in gold leaf. After the bishop pronounced the couple man and wife, the prince and princess made one stop on their way to their honeymoon: the tiny chapel of St. Devota, the patron saint of Monaco, located in the port. There, Grace knelt before the altar and laid her bridal bouquet upon it. She moved her lips in prayer and offered herself to her new home and people.”

On this crisp, joy-filled, November evening in Philadelphia, “The Stars and Stripes Forever Birthday Party,” went outside for entertainment under the stars. Each celebrant was given an engraved telescope as they segued to the lawn. Scenes from Grace Kelly films and rare home movies from her childhood, many taken at this house, were projected onto giant screens.

Billy Graham lifted a prayer to the heavens. Jonathan Winters shared stories he wrote for children about rocket travel and starships. Carl Sagan pointed out constellations in the night sky.

Then, with grand, joyful bombast, members of the Philadelphia Interscholastic Marching Band Association (pimba.org) burst into a rousing array of John Philip Sousa marches with blazing, electric guitar riffs added by Bonnie Raitt.

Before they went back inside, Donna Fargo led the happy group in an arm-in-arm sing-along of “The Happiest Girl/Boy in the Whole U.S.A.”

“Shine on me sunshine.

Walk with me world.

It’s a skip-a-dee-doo-dah day.

I’m the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.

Good morning, morning.

Hello sunshine.

Wake up, sleepy head.

Why’d we move that bojangle clock so far away from the bed?

Just one more minute.

That’s why we moved it.

One more hug will do.

Do you love waking up next to me

As much as I love waking up next to you?

You make the coffee.

I’ll make the bed.

I’ll fix your lunch

And, you fix mine.

Now, tell me the truth

Do these old shoes look funny?

Honey, it’s almost nine.

Now, you be careful.

Gotta go. I love you.

You have a beautiful day.

And, kiss the happiest girl in the whole U.S.A.


Thank you, oh Lord, for making him for me.

And thank you for letting life turn out the way

That I always thought it could be.

There once was a time when I could not imagine

How it would feel to say,


                                                    BILLY GRAHAM THANKSGIVING BIBLE CAKE

                               (Dedicated to Lagita Davis, Bible Teacher I Am Thankful to Know)


4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (1 Kings 4:22)

1 cup milk (Judges 5: 25)

2 cups white sugar (Jeremiah 6:20)

2 cups chopped figs (Nahum 3:12)

2 cups raisins (1 Samuel 30:11)

2 cups almonds (Numbers 17:8)

2 teaspoons honey (1 Samuel 14:25)

½ teaspoon salt (Leviticus 2:13)

2 teaspoons baking soda


Step 1—Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13” pan.

Step 2—In a large bowl, combine flour, milk, sugar, figs, raisins, almonds, honey, salt and baking soda. Mix thoroughly.

Step 3—Pour into prepared 9×13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes, or until edges pull away from pan.

Yields: 24 servings


Ben South