Saturday, September 15, 2018

The People Side of Reunions

Or:  our hotel bar tab was $176.50 for three nights.  Richie was drinking a cabernet - $12 a pop and I stuck to Lunetta sparkling prosecco at $11 per.  I mention our choices of beverage because I do not want to contemplate the amount of draft beer that would cover.  Or the person that could do it.

Friday night was the meet and greet in a hotel "guest suite" which as nearly as I could tell was the same as a hotel suite minus beds.  A living room, dining area, kitchen and bathroom.  It was not a spacious area, any of it, and with 45 people in the room, it was crowded.  The dining room had a big table that further ate into available room to breathe.

So warm was it from the crowd of yelling-to-be-heard people that one poor guy passed out.  He came to quickly, and did not want the paramedics, but the only medical person among us (an RN) reasoned that to pass out indicated something amiss.  So another class member stepped up and said, "Jack, here's the deal - one of the kitchen workers passed out from the heat there and as long as the paramedics are going to be here anyhow, let's let'em take a look at you."  which was an inventive lie from git-go to whoa.

They were coming in as we exited the elevator and I helpfully yelled, "He's awake and smiling."  Ah, the CERT instructors would have been proud …

But now perched at the bar, we looked around for other entertainment.  We had had dinner at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse which come to find out (bar tabs) also owns the hotel bar.  As one so frequently does, we got into a conversation with a man who turned out to be a retired police officer.  Having heard references to the high school reunion from passers-by he asked what graduation year?  "1958!" we promptly responded.

At that he perked up and yelled, "That's the year I was born!"  So I promptly invited him to the next morning's class brunch, saying that he could be our Poster Child!  He had to regret, but you could tell he really would have enjoyed it.

He's now a Private Investigator, working cold cases - previously I believe he was Internal Affairs as he said he investigated corrupt cops.  Or "dirty cops" as he referred to them.  He said that the police brutality on Law & Order is shocking and that it annoys him no end.  He went on to say that many of the cases he investigated were "she said; he said," but even some of them are rather bizarre.  He cited the case of three 14 year old girls in a foster home, who hated the house rules and regs so they put together a plot and accused an older girl there of sexually harassing all three of them.  Age 14!

Two classmen and a wife came in as he left and the five of us closed the bar.  This was not as foolhardy as it may sound.  The bar closes at 11 p.m.  We were in Kansas which has strict liquor rules.

The Saturday morning class brunch was given a private room with five tables of eight. Once again we were dropped into an apocalypse of conversation noise.  A great innovation of this brunch was silver chafing dishes - big deal, you snort - with a window in the lid!  None of this walking up and down, flipping lids!  A great idea!  

Dinner Saturday night was in a great reception area with the bar, a spacious outdoor patio with cushioned chairs and a separate dining room.  The program was innovative - a movie with photos of old haunts during out days and funny as hell due to old people cartoons that had been fitted into the DVD.  We were all given the DVD of the program which was incredibly generous on the part of the guy who made it.  .

Sunday the excitement was officially all over (after the same private room for the brunch) and we packed up and split for the airport.  I can safely say that a good time was had by all except for the guy who passed out Friday night.  Turns out after a night of observation in the hospital, he was just fine, thank you.

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