When I turn 50, I’m going to do exactly what George Schaeffer did. Although I don’t think I can get 400 people to fly in for the event, I am going to make them sit still while I grab the microphone and sing “My Way” to words I’ve rewritten, then I’m going to sing my heart our to the people I love…just like George. The now-legendary 50th Birthday Bash for George was a night that even Malcolm Forbes would have appreciated.
Unlike many middle-aged men (sorry, George), he faced the big 5-0 with the same sense of adventure he uses in running one of the biggest companies in the nail business.
Guests received invitations almost a year in advance, then we (I was one of the chosen) received a series of invitations for almost a year, each one more clever than the last. We were sent a custom T-shirt emblazoned with George’s image and trademark suspenders, and were instructed to wear it to the party. (I guess when George Schaeffer says wear a goofy T-shirt, you do it).
At the party, we were treated to a very funny video tribute (think “America’s Most Wanted”) and then the guest of honor was carried in on a sedan while being fanned by showgirls carrying large pink feathers (at my 50th, I’ll use bare-chested men instead). The crowd of OPI employees, distributors, international guests, and industry guests sang a rousing “Happy Birthday” while George cut a birthday cake that was big enough to fit the Hollywood sign on it.
In the nail industry, George Schaeffer is Mr. Big, but this night he was just a 50-year-old man celebrating a milestone birthday with his wife of 25 years (Miriam), his two children, and 400 of his closest friends.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.