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Dear all my friends in Texas,

I was hoping my birthday would fly under the radar.

When the scoop of birthday ice-cream came out after dinner last Friday night I was very appreciative. At dinner on Saturday night when y’all arrived wearing “bart-themed” t-shirts, I felt humbled that everyone would go to the effort. I was not expecting that and blindsided (and suitably embarrassed) by the gesture.

Then, of course, I was presented with your generous gift of some Hamilton shirts. I didn’t think I particularly deserved the ice-cream let alone the t-shirt party, but this gift humbled me completely. I was lost for words despite being literally surrounded by them.

I’ve coveted Hamilton shirts ever since we moved to Texas. The store where they’re made was 15 mins drive away. It was so close yet I never visited the store. After several years of living in Texas (and with a couple Rodeos under my belt) I warmed to the “western” shirts styled for the one and only Lyle Lovett and knew that if a Hamilton shirt was ever in my future it would be one of these. But it was only last Sunday night that I felt true appreciation for your gift: on the very last night of our five-month road trip during which Kelly and I both reached 40, we were watching Lyle Lovett perform at Gruene Hall, in Texas.

He was probably wearing a Hamilton shirt.

Lyle Lovett singing with guitar at Gruene Dance Hall, Texas

Lyle Lovett at Gruene Dance Hall, Texas, 2017

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I can’t imagine a birthday gift that could’ve capped my 40th year any better.

Thank y’all.