Monday, August 3, 2009

"Bon Voyage" from the YMCA

Dear Friends,
Something occurred prior to my departure for Crete that I wanted to share with you. Some of you may know that I work out quite frequently at the YMCA - three days a week for four hours each day to be exact. I do what I refer to as a "total body workout". Because of my impending departure for Crete, I had changed my last workout day from Friday to Thursday, July 30th. I checked in at the YMCA shortly after 9 AM and began my rigorous workout. At about 11 AM, I noticed my sister, Patsy, and her husband, George, up front in the lobby area of the YMCA, where there is a coffee machine, tea, and tables and chairs for sitting and relaxing. I was already a little tired, so I decided to sit down and relax for a few minutes with George and Patsy. While we were talking, a very special friend of mine, Melanie, came up behind me and when I turned around, she was holding a cake with the words, "Bobby, have a safe trip", written in Greek on the cake. Below that it also read, "Crete or bust". I was never so surprised in all my life. George called everyone around and said that it was my birthday (which it wasn't!), and began to lead everyone in an off-key rendition of Happy Birthday. Then, he gave me a little bag with a nice birthday card in it, plus a medicine bottle with one tablet of Viagra in it! George stated aloud that at our age, we needed all the help we could get. Everyone roared with laughter! Then, my dear friend, Melanie, gave me a very nice overnight bag with the YMCA logo on the side. By that time, everyone was wishing me a "Happy Birthday", but I kept trying to tell everyone that it wasn't my birthday - this was just a going away party! At that point they all began wishing me a pleasant and safe journey. This surprise "going away" party was planned and orchestrated by my very good friend, Melanie - one of the nicest, most pleasant, and most awe-inspiring young women that I have ever had the very distinct pleasure of meeting and getting to know. But, I should have suspected that if anyone would have a "Bon Voyage" party for me - it would be Melanie! Thanks, Melanie! You're the Greatest!!! As I reflect on my "Bon Voyage" party, I just can't help but think, "Isn't it nice to have friends - but especially, when they are as nice as Melanie!"
Take care, stay well, and let me hear from you.
Your Friend and Fellow "Silent Warrior",
Bob "Midget" Armistead

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