Mini Gathering—Jacksonville

We did it!

Here’s the report I sent to all the attendees:

I’ve just now been able to make it through a day without a nap while recovering from our blast last weekend. And blast it was, so far as I’ve been able to determine from the reactions.

I don’t have to explain to any of you, but I have to say that even though we can no longer party until 2 or 3 a.m., a bunch of people pushing 70 turning the clock over past midnight is still pretty good partying, where I come from. Congratulations to all.

And congratulations to everyone for making the commitment to travel and, in some cases, to see people not seen for half a century. You know, memories are powerful, and some of us might have had some reservations about who the people were we were going to see, but the consensus of all I talked to is that none of us are the same as we were—and the changes are almost universally for the better.

Of course some of those changes represent the smoothing of edges and the softening of expression, but I’m sure there’s at least the same amount, if not more, of the personal growth of each of us and our ability to embrace all of our disparate humanity—something teenagers aren’t always so good at, especially in the ’60s.

So, on behalf of Eileen (Cornelius), the Tragessers, Norma (Otten), Eileen (Brennan), Pat (Hester), Nancy (Deatrick), thank you for coming, and please come next year where we’ll demonstrate it all over again. And the same goes to all my old friends, my new friends, and anyone I am still immature enough to offend.

I confess that doesn’t remotely express how nice the weekend turned out. The hotel was most accommodating—particularly given that they had zero previous notice of our gathering—providing space for our sign-up table in the atrium, and then, on Saturday evening, with less than 24 hours of coordination, serving dinner in a private room and letting us stay in it as long as we needed it.

Sneakers, a nearby sports bar, also came up with arrangements on very short notice to host our Friday meal out.

Given how casual the planning and preparation for this event was—on purpose—it’s especially remarkable that we were able to enjoy such hospitality. In addition, parts of the atrium at Embassy Suites was in use by Mustangs for the best part of eighteen hours on Saturday—maybe more. It’s their venue for breakfast, cocktail hour, and overflow seating for the restaurant, so tables are almost always available. We capitalized.

Make plans for next year, about which planning has probably already started, given this terrific preview.

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Last updated: 10 May 2013