Annie Solomon

Image: Jennifer Soos

How do you mark the miraculous milestone of a 100th birthday? If you’re Annie Solomon, renowned hostess and party giver extraordinaire, you welcome guests to your bayfront condo with plenty of great food and drink, plus a very special piece of clothing and a group photograph.

Solomon’s 100th year celebration took place this past Sunday, and was surely as memorable as any of the innumerable parties she’s thrown over the years, at both the Siesta Key home and the Hamptons home she shared for many years with her late husband, renowned abstract expressionist artist Syd Solomon. (Read more about Annie at 99 here). This time around, there was a special focus. Solomon was inspired by the documentary RBG, currently showing at Burns Court Cinema, to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose long-running legal career (and recent celebrity status) was covered in the film.

So the call went out to Solomon’s many female friends, of all ages, backgrounds (artists, writers, therapists, historians, etc.) and hometowns. (Artist son Mike was the only male in attendance.) Some of the nearly 40 who were able to attend had known Annie virtually all their lives; some (like me) for three or four decades; some (like Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist Carrie Seidman, who showed up convincingly garbed as Ginsburg herself) only a year or two. But all knew this going in: They would be donning bright green T-shirts adorned with the face of RBG, they would all be photographed together, and the resulting picture, along with a letter written by Solomon thanking the justice for her lifelong work on behalf of “women, children, and indeed, all humanity” would be sent direct to Ginsburg. (In a crowd like this one, there was bound to be someone with that address in their little black books.)

Those green T-shirts...with Annie Solomon seated fifth from left in the second row.

Many guests posed with Annie; some next to the life-sized cardboard cutout of Ginsburg, as they toasted with champagne (and perhaps a bit of Annie’s favorite, tequila). They also watched proudly as Annie blew out the candles on her cake while being serenaded with a birthday song. Memories were shared, old friendships rekindled and new ones made, in the tradition of bringing people together to have a good time that is one of the hallmarks of Annie’s life. Happy Birthday, Annie.

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