I have hundreds of photos and many stories to collate and make sense of for you the readers. Good thing that many of my readers were at the party, so you will be able to report back on any of my potential fibbing and fabrications.
Here is the story of the party:
About Wednesday morning, the first of our guests began arriving, Roger and Janice came in at 0400 from Australia. Later on in the morning, the first of the Upper Peninsula came in. All guests came by for dinner at the Barco home. Tom, the Spousal Unit's brother is a former butcher, and he cut up a five pound beef tenderloin into filet's which were cooked up for our guests. We also tapped into the keg and various wines.
Brutal party, we stayed up until after midnight trying to get rid of the excess wines and beers. One family group tried to wreck the supply of scotch.
All the while, the familiar clack of billiards balls competed with the splashed from the backyard pool.
Thursday, the Michigan Clan went with us to Singleton's in Mayport for World Famous Shrimp and Seafood. The bill must have been staggering, we must have eaten pounds of shrimp and 5 dozen oysters. I left everyone behind to go pick up my sister at the airport. Dinner was five Moon River Pizza's I delivered to the house. Dessert was more beer and other libations.
Friday morning, all family members were bundled out to the Barco Sin Vela for an afternoon cruise on the St Johns River to downtown Jacksonville. For some, it was the first time on a larger boat. Everyone was well behaved and it was a very pleasant time. After we returned, there was a great gathering of party participants at the Barco Home for burgers and dogs.
As far as party's go, Friday's get together was equal to any other party and could have stood on it's own as a celebrations. But there was STILL Saturday night to go at the Yacht Club.
The Lady Folk took Saturday afternoon to get hair done and to shop for any last minute clothing items missed on the trip. I went to Avis and picked up a thirteen passenger van and met up with Jerry our Lawn Dude.
Jerry was kind enough to do all the driving for our out of town guests. We were not going to allow anyone to partake in the party libations only to attempt a trip to the hotel intoxicated and driving in strange surroundings. The $130 bucks for the van and the generous salary (more than what I paid for the rental) was cheap compared to DUI's or someone getting hurt.
The troops began arriving at five thirty and were greeted by the outstanding staff of the Florida Yacht Club.
There was a huge wedding being held downstairs with about three hundred guests, but we had the upstairs so we all stayed well apart.
Venue envy. Snicker... Snort.
Wendy (The Club Beverage/Bar Manager) was our personal bartender. The Spousal Unit and I really like her personally, and admire her professionalism.
The Club brought in some temporary staff to help and we were quite pleased with the quality and performance of these folks. But we also enjoyed some of the regular Staff like Maria, who personally made sure my glass was never empty.
Very troublesome person, that Maria!
|Jack chats up ladies|
|Someone having quality time on the river|
|Lf to Rt: Matt, Simon, Mark Zeigler|
|Fouts bro's discussing plan of attack for downstairs Wimmin|
|Terry and Tina|
|Married Couples dance|
|Matt and Scott discuss something important|
|Cigars on the Balcony|
|Two sets of Fouts Brothers|
|Mike and Steph|
|A sneaking cigar|
|Dad and daughter|
|Carol and Dorothy|
|Steve, Aunt Beth and Mike|
|Matt, Jeff and the Wimmin|
|Matt (Best Man from 1991) chatting up ladies|
We had some wonderful foods, too. Unfortunately, no photos. But there were only about two bags worth of leftovers, so I am glad to report that our guests ate plenty.
About Eight PM, we began the speech portion of the party. I hoofed my way through without notes and roger came up and closed it out. In the excitement I forgot to let Matt come up and say a few syllables. Matt was the best man at our wedding (He was an aircrewman with me at HSL-44 and we were quite close back then) and I didn't get the mike back to introduce him properly. I regret not giving a few moments to him, he deserved a minute or two.
The Band: They were incredible and people at the Wedding downstairs commented that they would have liked to crash our party just for the quality dance music!
We never had more than 70 people at our party, but the Michigan wing of the Fouts clan made sure that the dance floor was never in a state of disuse. As the party thinned, the floor got more packed, so the Band was always able to keep the beat up and happy.
More pictures of the party:
|Carol and Roxanne|
|Chef Steve asks, "Is the food ok?"|
|Difficult to dance with Champagne glasses|
|Mom and Daughter|
|Roger and Janice|
|I hope that the drink is soft...|
|Rosemarie and Jeff|
|Jeff and Rosemarie, again|
|Sister and Brother|
|Sister and Brother|
|Sisters and Dad|
|Sisters and Mom|
|Steph and her Mom, Sue|
|Mel and Tom with Fouts Brothers|
Ten thirty PM came and the Club started trying to shoo our guests out. I thought we were to have the club until eleven thirty, so I was a bit disappointed in that miscommunication. The Club manager had our keg placed outside so that we could keep the party going downstairs.
Mark (The drummer) came out and we hoisted a few more beers in the starlight.
About 1230 AM, Jerry took the last of the Michiganders home to their hotel. Apparently, Jerry was nice enough to stop at a beer store on the way so that beers could be enjoyed at the hotel pool.
The Barco crew along with Phil and Matt headed back to the docks for Champagne and nightcaps.
The story for the Keg migrating to the Dock has been told and I think we stayed up until Zero Four in da' morning.
We left Phil on his boat the next morning and went home for Kermit's now famous Bloody Mary's.
The morning drinks led to yet another afternoon and evening of drinking as family members peeled away to the airport to head home. Sunday evening, Father in Law, Matt (Best Man from the Wedding, 1991) Roger and myself played billiards and watched the video tape of the wedding. Then we watched the video of my Navy Retirement Ceremony from London.
That was how we closed out the party portion of this story.
The upcoming travel portion was to begin on Wednesday... Stay tuned for the next segment.