Happy Bartday: Prairieville family celebrates son's second birthday with Morris Bart-themed party

When her son turned 2 years old earlier this year, L’erin Dobra had the typical quandary — choosing a birthday party theme. Pirate? Firefighter? Superhero? Harry Potter? What?

It turns out, little Grayson had been giving her hints.

“Before he could walk or talk, every time the Morris Bart commercial would come on, he was just fixated,” she says. “You couldn’t talk to him. You couldn’t do anything with him. He would just sit and stare at the TV. You could call his name, give him a toy. He didn’t care. He just wanted to watch the Bart commercial. He’s been that way ever since, and when he started talking he would say, ‘One call’ or ‘Bart, Bart, Bart, Morris Bart, Morris Bart.’

“They were not his first words, but they were a close second and third,” says Dobra.

So — we’re going to go out on a limb here — this Prairieville family had history’s first Morris Bart-themed birthday party for a toddler. (If we’re wrong, sue us. However, the first personal injury attorney that comes to mind might have a conflict of interest.)

The party included a birthday cake, complete with Morris Bart’s picture emblazoned on it, a signed Morris Bart photo, a Morris Bart cutout and a Morris Bart T-shirt. Grayson loved it. How could he not?

“He has always been so fascinated with the commercials,” his mom says. “He always just randomly says, ‘One call, that’s all.’ He likes to watch the reruns of the commercials on YouTube. So, coming to his second birthday party, there’s all this pressure. We had a Mickey Mouse party for his first birthday, and I didn’t want to do the same thing.”

This was definitely not the same thing.

When she called Gambino’s bakery to set up the cake, the bakery had another Bart in mind.

“I emailed the photo and then called her and told her it’s going to have Bart,” Dobra says. “When she opened up the picture, she said, ‘Wait, this is Morris Bart.’ She thought I meant Bart Simpson. I told her, ‘No, he’s having a Morris Bart birthday party.’ She said, ‘OK, that’s a first.’”

And not just for the bakery. Dobra contacted Bart’s New Orleans law office through its website — we should note that “one online message, that’s all” is not a catchy slogan — asking if the lawyer might attend the party.

Kaley Wilkins-Fabre, the firm’s marketing coordinator, initially wasn’t sure the request was for real.

“We do have people call wanting autographed pictures or want a chance to meet with Mr. Bart, things of that nature, but never a child’s birthday,” she says.

Bart couldn’t make the party, but the office sent along an 8-by-10 portrait that he signed with birthday wishes, along with some other goodies, like keychains and a New Orleans Pelicans shirt that Grayson will need to grow into.

“They were so nice about the whole process,” Dobra says. “They never once said, ‘You’re crazy. Leave us alone’ or anything like that.”

So, the party for family and a few friends went off without a hitch.

The only question that remains is whether L’erin and Ionel Dobra will have to come up with a different theme when their only child turns 3.

“He still loves his Morris Bart shirt,” she says. “If you put it on him, you’d better not try to take it off. He will throw a fit. He has his two photos on the nightstand, and he likes to give Morris Bart a kiss goodnight sometimes. He is literally obsessed with Morris Bart.”

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