MEDFORD, Okla. (KFOR) — Marla Cline and her sister Shonda Schuermann cooked up this idea on short notice: meet with family up the street from their parents’ house and march on over with cake and signs to sing their dad Happy Birthday.
J.D. Jackson really did turn 90 on March 24, 2020.
He and his wife said they really were surprised too.
“I like to fainted when I saw all those cars lined up,” he said. “And I saw my daughter’s car too.”
The original plan for this evening included an evening out for Mexican food, J.D.’s favorite.
“We knew we couldn’t take him out in public,” said daughter Carla.
With J.D. and Margie became unexpectedly homebound because of COVID-19, and Shonda’s work on the front lines of medicine, those plans were hopelessly out of reach.
“We’re just glad he’s here,” said Shonda.
J.D. worked in the oil patch to feed his family.
“What was he like as a dad?” asks Great State’s Galen Culver.
“Pretty awesome,” said one teary eyed daughter.
“He’s one of the kindest people you will ever meet,” echoes the other.
He was also a school crossing guard for years in Medford, and well known for waving at kids and carpoolers alike.
So just after the Happy Birthday song, a police escort rolled down Willow Street, heading a long line of cars and farm trucks.
Some brought cards.
Everybody honked and waved.
“You probably wish you could jump up and hug some necks,” prompts Culver.
“Sure do,” answers J.D. with a chuckle.
There wasn’t a person who stopped by who didn’t wish they could hop up the front steps and give old J.D. a hug as well.
But a lovely spring evening revealed a truth we could all use in a time when social distancing is so important: It’s still possible to touch without actual physical contact.
J.D. Jackson and Margie could feel this kind of love too.
The Jacksons have been married for 67 years.
Their family brought over supper and German chocolate cake for the two of them to share.