A cake, 50 candles and memories

One by one, the standing Islanders took their seats at Mercerdale Park during the Mercerversary celebration on Sunday evening as Mayor Jim Pearman called out the decades.

New residents, five years, 10 years, 20 years. The standing crowd diminished by about half at the 30-year resident mark. Forty years, 50 years, 60 years ... a small group remained standing in the front rows, until there were only two.

John Davis and Ruth Mary Close, born in 1914 and 1917 respectively, did the honors of blowing out the Mercerversary birthday cake candles.

Almost a thousand attendees donning multi-colored party hats enjoyed eight cakes, specially designed with the circular Mercerversary logo.

After the formalities of marking the city’s 50th birthday, including a tree and bench dedication, and a historical re-cap by Linda Jackman, the real fete kicked off with the song “Happy Birthday” and a live concert by the Nowhere Men, a Beatles tribute band.

Longtime Islander and former City Council member Bob Coe, a resident since 1956, and his wife, Bobby, also attended the celebration.

Coe reminisced about the name “Mercerversary.”

“We were sitting on one of the early anniversaries of Mercer Island,” he recalled. “Hunter Simpson and I were churning around in our minds what to call it. That’s when I said, ‘It’s not an anniversary. It’s a ‘Mercerversary!’”

The couple still lives on the Island and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon. Maybe they will even be around for the 75-year milestone in 2035.

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