Tall Ship’s Redux

I arrived back at the cabin last night after another marathon drive. Dan was here, but left this morning by bus for parts south, Liz and tomorrow’s flight back to LA. Anne and I put Dan on the bus to Detroit early to morning. This happened to be the same bus that Lisi and Grace, college friends of Ashlan, just happened to be disembarking from. Lisi and Grace, fellow Word-pressers, have been bicycling from Seattle. We bade goodbye to Dan and welcome to Lisi and Grace. We first took them out to breakfast at Frank’s on Portage. Next we took them to the locks. Two tall ships were immediately expected, so we hung around the little museum, even after the rain began.

It turned into a gully washer, so we waited it out watching films of COE Soo history. Eventually, the rain relented, but still no ETA on the tall ships. We headed back to the cabin, introduced the girls to the rents and waited out the rest of the rain. After it cleared, we walked the beach and watched two tall ships descend.

We went to the Dancing Crane and then the lighthouse next. Most of the lighthouse was closed for roofing work. A docent told us that Saturday at one PM all of the tall ships would gather off of Gros Cap, set sail and race towards Duluth. Dinner was a lively affair, with Kayak Women leading the charge.

Looking Down the Beach at Sunset

Looking Down the Beach at Sunset

Looking Down the Beach at Sunset

Yesterday, I attend another fortieth anniversary party from work. This was the second one that month. John chose to have his party at the Ferguson Brewery, a micro-brew pub located near work. The similar proximity of beer dictated that this would be an afterhour’s event. The company covered the happy hour hor dourves, but would not cover the bar tab. John picked that up. Choosing this venue, he also got to invite his entire family. It was a grand affair, much better than the usual cake and coffee in the cafeteria.

After a mixer period, the food was served and after everyone had eaten the speeches began. Usually, in these anniversary events the speeches precede the food and if you show up a little late one can skip them entirely and go straight to cake. I’m glad though that I didn’t miss any of these. Pro forma, Bob, John’s current boss got the speeches rolling. Bob must either be a gifted speaker or has given hundreds of these anniversary speeches. Bob illustrated three attributes that made John the great teammate that he is. I’ll just concentrate on one of them, persistence. Over his career, John has had only one task, the development of a world-class software product, one of the company’s crown jewels and a national asset. Bob used the analogy of the battle between rock and water. Water always wins, because it is persistent.

The other great speech was Jim’s. His speech like all of the others was full of praise, but was most memorable for the anecdote he closed with. It was drawn from a business trip in the eighties, a time when the words business and casual were not yet conjoined. John, Jim and a couple of others, who I shall mercifully omit naming, took a business trip to Vancouver. Being landlocked Midwesterners; their first order of business was to head to the beach. They trooped down to the beach in full suit and tie, only to discover that this beach was a nude beach. It wasn’t even the kind of nude beach that one would want to visit, I mean the cliental… Faced with the choice of either retreat or stripping they withdrew quickly.

I like many others owe a great debt to John. I believe that I would not still be employed there if not for his help. So, I hardily congratulate John on his fortieth anniversary. Happy anniversary, John!