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Retirement parties

I'm in from an office retirement party for 4 people (including my former supervisor) who retired on January 3. They had something like 126 years of government service between them--Tim, my supervisor, had 32, and another guy had over 40. And the downsizing goes on...all of these guys took the buyout payment, which means that their positions have been eliminated.

It was nice to visit with the retirees, others who had retired earlier, some current employees from other places who came, and even current co-workers. But the restaurant turned out to be a bad choice for this affair--it was in an old building with bare brick walls and a pressed-tin ceiling, so the sound echoed. Our group of about 70 took up most of the main dining room (and they had a smaller party in a back room, I'm told), but they still had a few tables for walk-in diners and their bar, both in the main room. So as we tried to have various speeches and tributes, the noise of the drunk at the bar, the group waiting for a table, and some of the parties at tables beside us added background noise, and it all echoed around to make almost everything inaudible. Oh, and we were right at a railroad and a grade crossing, so there were 4 or 5 trains during the 3 hour affair to add more noise.

The food was good, though--Italian, served family style. (For the Atlantans: this was Dominicks in Old Town Norcross.) A nice spicy penne pasta with sausage, good eggplant parmesan, and very flavorful Dominick's chicken. Oh, and acceptable chocolate mousse to finish. Only thing I disliked: the spedini bread, which had a very harsh bite that I think was an excess of raw garlic. Almost bitter...


Thursday afternoon I'm flying to Albany, NY for another retirement--a luncheon Friday for 6 people in that office who also took the buyout. One of the six is Debbie, who I've known since 1984, if not earlier. I dug an old file out on a workshop held in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in Oct. 1984 which we both attended--Debbie was a guest from the Northeastern Region at this Southeastern Region workshop, and I was a cooperator (meaning I worked for a State agency in conjunction with USGS, not for USGS itself). Through the early 1990's we were on a committee together and we saw each other more often. And since 2000 or so, we were both part of the national water-use leadership team, so there were a few more meetings and innumerable conference calls. Even though it's a luncheon with 6 honorees, I'm going up and will say a few words, and read a letter from the Chief of the Office of Ground Water (which funds the water-use program) on her contributions to the program. Will come home Friday night.

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Fish-Fred
nlbarber
Nancy Barber

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