Local celebrity celebrates 40th in style

Local celebrity John Reed celebrated his 40th birthday Monday night at Hopskeller Brewing Company in Waterloo. Reed is pictured at center as partygoers sing “Happy Birthday” to him.
(Kermit Constantine photo)

No one was mad Monday night at Hopskeller Brewing Company in Waterloo, as local celebrity John Reed’s 40th birthday bash was a good time for all. 

Hundreds of people attended, packing the two-story brewery, which opened specifically for the party. It is normally closed on Mondays. 

The event took place from 4-10 p.m., with partygoers socializing, drinking free soda and enjoying a pizza buffet.

“I liked it,” Reed told the Republic-Times while on a break from his job at Human Support Services. “I liked all the people who came. There was a lot. I liked the way my mom helped set it up. I liked how James (Gallagher) and Matt (Schweizer) helped set it up.” 

Reed, an HSS client known by some as the “unofficial mayor of Waterloo,” is a social butterfly. 

When he is not working at one of his part-time jobs at Gallagher’s Restaurant, HSS or  in the Waterloo school district, he can usually be found conversing with any restaurant or bar patrons he can find. 

His favorite conversation topics include the weather – especially snow – and St. Louis sports teams. 

Reed’s gregariousness may have contributed to some of the special guests at Monday’s party, including members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Waterloo Police Department, Waterloo Volunteer Fire Department and Waterloo Mayor Tom Smith. 

“When I’m not around, I have John here to represent me and talk to the people,” Smith told KSDK. “John’s in every restaurant in town, talking to people and eating. He’s really loved. Everybody loves John.”

The TV station also covered the party. The segment can be viewed on the KSDK website. 

Individuals also went to cyberspace to express their love for Reed. 

“John Reed’s 40th birthday, hosted by Hopskeller – what a blast,” JV’s Downtown Bar & Grill owner Jeff Vogt wrote on Facebook. “Way to show appreciation for one of (Waterloo’s) great people. Do you think it’s going to snow? And it flurried. Awesome.”

“He makes the rounds in Waterloo and loves snow and discussing whose fault it is when it does snow,” Vern Kovarik chimed in. “He also loves scratch-off lottery tickets, and he got hundreds of them tonight. Hope he has some big winners. He’s beloved in the community…. (I) couldn’t be prouder of the town I live in.”

In addition to lottery tickets, Reed received gift cards to local restaurants, St. Louis Blues tickets, a TV from his family, two snow globes and more. 

Reed seemed particularly excited about the lottery tickets, though as of noon Tuesday he had not yet started scratching them off. 

“I asked for lottery tickets, and, boy, I got a lot,” he said. “I probably walked out with a whole box full.” 

Reed also celebrated his and his sister’s birthday on Thanksgiving with his family. The children at the school where Reed works sang “Happy Birthday” to him the morning of his birthday, too. 

It even snowed on his birthday, which Reed loved. 

Given all the people who came up and wished Reed a happy birthday, however, the party must have been the highlight of his special day. 

It also served as an example of the kind of community Waterloo is. 

“Just another prime example of why I love my hometown so much,” Lauren Falk posted on Facebook. “John Reed couldn’t have had a better 40th birthday party. I’m sure he’s beyond busy today with all of his scratch-off tickets. He is so loved by our entire community. Love my bestie!”

Reed said the love for all those who attended was mutual. 

“I was really happy to see a big turnout like that,” he said. “I was really surprised to see that. I was amazed to see all those people.”  

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