BY LISA WARREN
Karen Dean says her 60th birthday celebration couldn't have been happier - or more unexpected!
On May 22, the Greene County resident and her husband were out with their friends, Linda and Paul Marshall, at Monterray's Mexican Restaurant in Towne Square Shopping Center, to celebrate her May 23 birthday a day early.
While awaiting their meal, Dean said that she and her friends noticed that the members of The Band Perry came into the restaurant with several other individuals and sat down at a nearby table.
Being huge country fans - especially of the hometown sibling trio - Dean said that they were all extremely excited to be dining close to them.
During their meal, Dean said that her friends told their waiter that it was her birthday and wondered if the staff could wish her a Happy Birthday, complete with the Mexican restaurant's traditional ¡Feliz cumpleaños! sombrero on her head.
Dean said that Kimberly Perry overheard the conversation turned around and said, "Ma'am, I don't mean to bother you, but did I hear it's your birthday?"
Dean answered her by saying, "Well, actually tomorrow is my birthday, but my friends brought me and my husband out to celebrate tonight."
Kimberly then said, "Would you care if we sing Happy Birthday to you?"
Shocked, but extremely pleased, Dean said, "No, I wouldn't mind. I would really like that!"
After Kimberly and her brothers, Neil and Reid, sang to her, they took photos with the group and chatted.
"As I was hugging the boys, thanking them, and telling their parents what great kids they had raised, Kimberly went and got a piece of paper, folded it, and made me a birthday card," Dean said.
"She made it herself - and she and her brothers autographed it," she added excitedly.
Dean said she was so excited - and touched - that the Perrys would take the time to make her feel so very special.
"They are just as nice as they can be!" she said.
"For them to come up to me ... and do this ... it just touches my heart!" Dean said with tears in her eyes.
As a child, Dean said that she was never given a birthday party - and having country music stars come up to her, out-of-blue, and doing this for her, was such a wonderful, unexpected gift!