Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nothing like a 3-Day Weekend!

It started with me and my cohorts from St. Cyprian’s Choir singing a rousing Star Spangled Banner at the final regular season game at the Captains Stadium. We sang, we ate, we cheered and did the “Tony Dance” as our Lake County Captains overcame the opposition’s lead to win the game 9-3. There was much celebration on the field, not to mention a spectacular fireworks show, as the Captains are heading directly into the playoffs. If you’ve never gone to a Captains game, you’re missing a really fun afternoon or evening.

Saturday was fraught with all the usual tasks. But later in the afternoon, I headed out to Ashtabula for the St. John Class of 1970 birthday party. It was held at the Elks Club on the Lake. I had never been there before, and since the invitation said Lake Road without specifying east or west, my trusty Tom-Tom sent me on a goose chase to North Kingsville. Fortunately, I was finally able to get a friend on the cell (thank you Pam!) and turned around and headed back toward the Harbor. Soon I was on Lake Road West and found the venue without another hitch.

We had a pretty good turnout. About a quarter of the class showed up, some with a guest, some without. Pat Kilker provided the venue and arranged for the birthday cake. Martha Roach organized the help and took care of the details. Tim McCarthy created and sent out the invitations. Tom Timonere, Mike Guerini and friends brought the old band out of the mothballs and provided the musical entertainment (they still know how to rock!). The Elks kept the food and libations coming, and a great time was had by all!

I was particularly outgoing (it wasn’t the wine, honest!), and because there were people we didn’t know milling about, I offered to just go up to someone, shake his hand, say “it’s good to see you again” and then walk away. I understand the look on the poor guy’s face was priceless, and he spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out who I was and why he didn’t remember me. I came clean before the end of the night and told him I was very pleased to make his acquaintance. 

I also dragged Pat Kilker up to the microphone and we led the class in a rousing rendition of “Gaudeamus Igitur” in honor of our Latin/French teacher. She had always called it the Song of the Latin Students. Had I known the literal translation, I might have refrained. The first two verses are as follows...the rest of the verses are rather rambling and somewhat non-sensical to my way of thinking.

Let us therefore rejoice,
While we are young;
After our youth,
After a troublesome old age
The ground will hold us.
Our life is brief,
It will shortly end
Death comes quickly,
Cruelly snatches us;
No-one is spared.

Tom and Mike were also gracious enough to let me steal the mic to do a few songs for the crowd. I’m hoping those few songs were more comforting and more enjoyable (or at least, less morbid!).

Sunday brought the annual Baumert Labor Day weekend picnic. Laurie opens her house to friends, family, and coworkers and everyone brings incredible food. We talk, play games and catch up with people who come and go all day and into the evening. I have been making a killer stuffed portabella mushroom of late and decided it might translate into a casserole. It turned out very tasty. But what I discovered later was that it made one hell of a dip with tortilla chips! I may have to bottle the stuff.

On Monday, Meredith, my cousin Diane and I went to the Ohio Celtic and International Fall Fest at the Lake County Fair Grounds. It was hot and humid, and we found shelter from the sun in the vendor buildings. We listened to the music of Mossy Moran and the Willis Clan. Meredith and Diane had Irish Nachos (made with potatoes rather than tortilla chips, of course), and I settled for bread pudding with whiskey sauce (incredibly filling and enough carbs for the month of September all by itself).

We hung around a while as I discovered that Lost State of Franklin was scheduled to play. It was good to see Scott and Tyler again. They have a terrific band. If you get the chance, check out their website, buy their CDs and go see them perform. You just can’t help but like their music.

And now, back to work!