Thirty Years Old
Turning thirty is a milestone for most people,
especially those of the generation that proclaimed it would never trust anyone over that age.
To celebrate his own thirtieth, in February 1985,
Jobs threw a lavishly formal but also playful—black tie and tennis shoes—party for one thousand in the ballroom of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
The invitation read, "There's an old Hindu saying that goes,
'In the first 30 years of your life, you make your habits.
For the last 30 years of your life, your habits make you.'
Come help me celebrate mine."
One table featured software moguls, including Bill Gates and Mitch Kapor.
Another had old friends such as Elizabeth Holmes, who brought as her date a woman dressed in a tuxedo.
Andy Hertzfeld and Burrell Smith had rented tuxes and wore floppy tennis shoes,
which made it all the more memorable when they danced to the Strauss waltzes played by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
Ella Fitzgerald provided the entertainment, as Bob Dylan had declined.
She sang mainly from her standard repertoire,
though occasionally tailoring a song like "The Girl from Ipanema" to be about the boy from Cupertino.
When she asked for some requests, Jobs called out a few.
She concluded with a slow rendition of "Happy Birthday."
Sculley came to the stage to propose a toast to "technology's foremost visionary."
Wozniak also came up and presented Jobs with a framed copy of the Zaltair hoax from the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire,
where the Apple II had been introduced.
The venture capitalist Don Valentine marveled at the change in the decade since that time.
"He went from being a Ho Chi Minh look- alike, who said never trust anyone over thirty,
to a person who gives himself a fabulous thirtieth birthday with Ella Fitzgerald," he said.
Many people had picked out special gifts for a person who was not easy to shop for.
Debi Coleman, for example, found a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon.
But Jobs, in an act that was odd yet not out of character, left all of the gifts in a hotel room.
Wozniak and some of the Apple veterans, who did not take to the goat cheese and salmon mousse that was served,
met after the party and went out to eat at a Denny's.