“Impromptu gatherings are always the best,” said Karen Calvin on Saturday night. It was nearly two a.m. and the last of our friends were about to head out the door.
It started out as one of those weekends where we planned to work on the basement with our friend Mike. Mike had been coming over with his kids for several weekends and tackling the basement with Joe. Joe emailed another friend, John Sullivan. “We need a tall guy to hold up the drywall,” he said. Tempted with free beer, John said yes.
Another friend, Dennis O’Brien volunteered his labor and joined us after installing some Z’s all day. His wife Laura and son Shawn came over. Laura texted the Facebook Queen, Lori Krakora, and told her to come on over with her kids. Lori brought her kids, and three other friends of ours–Todd and Karen Calvin and Mark Riedel.
The guys put up just two pieces of drywall and called it quits.
So we spent the night gathered around the kitchen table yakking and laughing. The kids were off playing somewhere in the house– we didn’t hear a peep from them. We talked about everything under the sun: the stinking economy, the difficulty of keeping a business going during hard times, our kids, our future– and our childhoods.
It was getting late, probably near midnight, when we decided to call our friend Kent from Colorado. Kent was part of our deaf investment club which disbanded not too long ago. So Kent joined the party virtually through the Z videophone.
“Damn, I wish I was there!” he said.
“Dude, you are here!” I said. We passed the Z-340 around and yakked some more. After Kent hung up, Julie and Jim Chavez called at one a.m. So we planted the Z in front of us and chatted away with the Chavez’s while munching on potato chips. There were grease marks all over the Z-340 from being passed around. Earlier in the day, the Z survived an encounter with spilled milk. I sat back and watched the conversations around me– marveling how neat it was that friends from far away could join us and be involved.
I think we’ve got a new slogan for Z: The next-best-thing to being there.