04 June, 2007

Great Friends Came to See Us Off

When I was in the Navy, we had a shipmate who was getting out at the end of his enlistment. Naturally, we had a party for him, all of us getting good and drunk (if there is such a thing - I think there was back then), only our friend more so. He didn't know if he was coming or going, up, down, or sideways.

We had acquired a Captain America costume from somewhere and managed to get him dressed up in it. We all piled into a couple of cars and provided him an escort to San Diego's Lindberg Field, where we poured him onto his airplane (long before security checks, etc., etc.).

He took off in his "freedom bird" to a new life in the civilian world. I often wondered what his folks thought as he tumbled out of that airplane when it landed somewhere in the mid-west. At least he was dressed patriotically.

Well, thank the stars we didn't have a send-off like that! What we did have, though, was a very enjoyable afternoon and evening with some of the best people we've ever had the privilege and honor to know and be able to call our friends.

Thanks to Owen and Sandy for hosting this gala and to Don and Shelly for being co-hosts. You guys are the best! You provided the venue for some super memories we'll carry with us for the rest of our lives.

And, thanks to everyone who attended. Each of you added to that memory bank with great conversation, brotherhood, camaraderie, and friendship. Thank you all so much. You have no idea how much this meant to us!

So, enough with the maudlin soliloquy. Let's get down to it with what happened at the bash.

These shots are in no particular order. Just take them in as discrete pieces, existing in and of themselves, and representing some of what happened during the ten (10) hours we were at the party. I have never been to a party that went for that long before. If I'd been hosting it, I probably would have chased everyone out after four or five hours. Sandy, Owen, Don and Shelly, you guys earned a bunch of sainthood points with that!

Here's Master Chef Eric with Owen discussing the finer points of barbecuing. This actually happened fairly late in the day. Just remember, no particular order.
Eric Doing A Bang-up Job With the BBQ - Owen Providing Advice
I think this is a particularly nice shot of the residents of Pondville. As usual, they're trying to tell anyone who will listen that they're hungry.
We're Really Gonna Miss These Guys and the Pond
Dianna and Sandy enjoying such a fun time. I should have bought stock in Kimberly-Clark.
Sandy and Dianna Enjoying a Great Cry Together
Owen and Jay enjoying some of the great Dick's Brewing ale that Don brought to the party.
Owen and Br. Jay Having a Laugh
Sandy explaining to Roger and Linda all about the fishies and pond life.
Uh oh, looks like someone's had an accident. I hope Jon just spilled his beer and not what he's making it look like. BTW, nice dress Jon.
Jon Looks Like An Accident Having Happened
Tammy and Pamela getting ready to sample some hors d'oeuvre
Taylor, also know as "Boo" trying to entice the fish to come out and play
Jon and Marty taking life easy in the sunshine.
Marty and Jon Relaxing in the Sun
A couple of divas taking a bow? Or are they welcoming us to the festivities?
MaryAnn and Dianna Enjoying the Party
Michael, the young man of adventurous spirit... Likes to experiment with his hair. It's always entertaining.
Michael - The Great Experimenter
Well, here's someone relaxing and absorbing all the atmosphere.
Caught Up in all the Excitement
Now, how many folk's landlords come to their going-away party? Thank you Roger and Linda. You've been just super landlords, as well as having been great neighbors for 10 years before that.
Roger and Linda - Friends and our Landlords - the Best
Ah, the good life. Jon knows "it just don't git no better", unless it's his own home-made wine. We are sure gonna miss your bottling parties. They are absolutely a rare treat.
Jon and Marty Host the Best Wine Bottling Parties
Jay, as I told you, thanks for being my IT support person for all these years. BTW, the Pocket PC you got for $5.00 - we have the manuals and other paperwork for it. Guess you're just gonna have to come down to Corozal to get it.
Jay DeBoer Worked With Dianna - Was My IT Tech
Jerry and Kathy, longtime stalwarts of the Olympic Evergreen Travelers RV club. You guys are great. Thanks for coming. Their ride is Jerry's pride and joy - his Pony Car. Thanks to Mike, his son, for the excellent way the engine growls. Current day rice-burners just can't come close. This is real pavement power!
WB Jerry and Kathy - Gonna Miss Camping
Jim from the 'hood. We bought our Honda from him and his wife Jennifer. Now, the car is coming back home. Dan and Mary Ann bought it for their niece. So, for a while, it'll be right next door.
One of Our Neighbors, Jim
Here's a couple of Past Masters chewing the fat over some important issues confronting all of us at the party. Richard Flinton, long-time Secretary of Olympia Lodge No. 1, F & AM. Thanks for coming. It was really nice to see you again. Thanks for keeping us all of Oly No. 1 so well-informed.
Couple of WBs, Jon and Richard
Don and Brenda, Thank you for coming. Pull the plug soon and come on down. The fishing is spectacular. Both the food and the beer is great. You'll love it. Don, you were the best boss I could have asked for. Thanks for letting me do it the way I wanted to. It was a great experience. Brenda, I know Dianna will really miss those shopping bags full of mysteries. I won't miss lugging them from Don's office to my car, but that's beside the point. Thanks you guys, we will miss you!
Don and Brenda - Thanks for the Opportunities
Susan and Eric - We've been neighbors for such a long time. Watching your boys grow up is such an amazing thing. We don't see them every day, so they seem to just shoot up. They are speedily becoming young men! Eric, I finally have a bicycle to ride down there. You've been an inspiration. It was great to see you two before we leave.
Susan and Eric From Across the Street
Glamorous Glenys, psychic that you are, you already know what I'm going to write, so this is redundant. A fine Gaelic lass. It was nice to see you again. Thanks for coming.

Glenys - That Ginger Hair!
Well, well, well. I think this is a first. Usually, Don is one of, if not THE, last person to go through the chow line. Something about making sure everyone else has plenty to eat. Hmm, I detect some other folks lined up behind. I guess that could be chalked up to him and Jon getting a really good head start on the day's festivities, when they visited Doug to get the kegs and the tap. Thank you Don and Shelly for co-hosting this soirée. You dun good!
WB Don Making it Through the Chow Line
What is this? Dianna giving Katie a lesson in geography? Must be. The picture's there and it looks pretty authentic. Looks pretty intent on the subject at hand. She's been a pretty good partner for 34 years! Hugs and Kisses... I still love you! I'm glad you and I are doing this grand adventure together. I can't conceive of anyone else I'd rather be doing it with. You're the best!
Katie and Dianna Talking About Where We'll Be
Awww, he's all tuckered out! that's because Jon and Don got such a head start on all the rest of us for this party. He had to accompany Don to Doug's for the kegs and the tap. Of course, they had to sample two or three different beers while doing that. You know, to make sure they got the right stuff. Thank you Jon. As I said somewhere else, nice dress. Just remember the joke about Castro's army.
Jon's Fading Fast
Somewhere on the blog (in the archives) is a picture I took of Belikin, the beer of Belize. Dianna took this one of our favorite beer here in the Northwest - Black Butte Porter, by Deschutes Brewing, of Bend, Oregon. Yummers!
Our Favorite of 'em All
Chris and Ingrid quizzing Roger about his and Linda's recent trip to Costa Rica. Chris and Ingrid just completed a trip to Belize themselves. They were down at San Ignacio, Belize not too long ago, visiting Ingrid's dad, who lives there. Thank you guys for coming. You've been great neighbors for a long time. We will really miss you!
Chris and Ingrid Just Got Back From San Ignacio
Hey, I bet you guys didn't know we knew the Boss. Oh yah. He comes to all the important functions, y'know. Oh yah.

Wait a minute... That's not Bruce Springsteen, that's our very own Damian Kolb! Besides making all the ladies swoon (I think that's what Dianna's doing there), Damian's a property developer, rides a real Harley, not one of those wimpy things with things like front wheel brakes and stuff, and he's an excellent Lodge brother. He's currently Senior Warden of Oly No. 1. Next step is the big seat in the East, Damian. Gear up! Thanks for coming, it's great to see you again.

Br. Damian Wowing Dianna
Valerie and Dianna. Valerie was our next door neighbor for years. She's still a good friend. Her late husband John was an author too. If you get the chance to read his book, you won't regret it. Unfortunately, John passed away just about the time it was being published. I wish he was here. I'd love to read more by him. I still miss our literary and philosophical discussions over the fence or in the alley as he was getting ready to take Leta, their dog for a walk. Valerie, we loved running into you on Sunday mornings up at Rosie's on Rogers. Memories we'll treasure forever. Thanks for coming.
Dianna and Valerie From Next Door
Dog obedience?? I thought you said hog comedians! Larry and party co-host Owen enjoying a good laugh.

Here's a dog haiku:
Sleeping here, my chin
On your foot - no greater bliss - well,
Maybe chasing cats.

Larry, your time in aitch, e, double-hockey sticks, is about half over. Relax. Just about the time you think you've gotten the hang of it, you'll be done.

Larry is the current Master of Oly No. 1. Never an easy time in the East there. I appreciate your taking the time from your busy schedule to come to celebrate our going away. Thanks, Larry. I appreciate it!

Br. Larry and Owen - Too Much Fun
A nice grand daughter, grandfather moment. Jim and Alicia. Thanks for coming.

Jim I really appreciate your sharing you seafaring magazines with me. They've been some great reading. I'll miss our camaraderie at Tugboats on Thursday evenings. They've been evenings to treasure.

Alicia, keeping Eric and Taylor in line is a full-time job. And, you squeeze Mary Kay in besides. Thank you both for coming. We appreciate it.
Alicia and Her Dad
Jon and Annie enjoying a quiet moment at the party. Well, it really is for Annie. She's deaf as a post. She can, however, understand sign language. Jon can't. I guess Annie is also a de facto co-host of the party. Thank you Annie.
Jon and Annie Having a Moment
Another moment with Annie. She's chasing the odd crumb from some of the human guests. She looks particularly festive with her cute bandanna. What a nice girl.
Annie, the Nicest Dog You'd Ever Want to Meet
Two little ballerina's showed up for the party. Avi and Arris, Mary Ann and Dan's daughters, came over for a bit, had some treats and then had to go back for a party of their own with some of their friends. Thanks, girls, for sharing some of your spark with us old folks. We appreciate it.
Avi and Arris - Our Ballerinas

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