Good, I guess. Since no one would help facilitate, I spent hours creating a program all by myself, but the three people who previewed it thought it was too structured. I edited it down from two hours to a fifteen minute introduction, and left the rest of the meeting open for an unmoderated discussion. As soon as I finished my part, people exploded into a verbosity that made my presence pretty much redundant, and that was fine with me because, by then, I was a bit drunk. I had thought that my glass held three ounces of vodka, but it actually held four and a half—as I later realized while trying to determine why I had been so affected by so little—which meant that I was sufficiently wasted by the time I finished my introduction that I was afraid to open my mouth for fear of slurring my speech. After two years of narcotics and sleeping pills, I am sorry to report that I can no longer hold my liquor.
When everyone departed, they said they had a great time, and I had to take their word for it because I was pretty clueless myself. God at the food they left! I asked them to bring snacks, and, predictably, some brought nothing and others brought enough for five people, so there was a substantial net gain to me that consisted of sundry hors d'oeuvres, two partial bottles of wine, one full bottle of wine, three six packs of beer, three bottles of hard cider, and two liters of soft drinks (I’ll save the unopened liquor for our next meeting).
As the meeting closed, I said that I could do the Internet announcements; I could be the welcoming committee; I could do the writing; I could support people who wanted to sponsor an event; and I could host events; but everything else was best left to someone else. No one complained, so that’s where we left it. Two days later, someone offered to sponsor a book group, and we have another general meeting scheduled, so the group gives every appearance of really taking off despite our recent loss of the two people who started the Eugene chapter.
It’s both funny and sad that no matter how hard I worked to support any group that I was ever in, I always felt like an outsider. Now that I’m older than most of the people in this group, at least, I feel that way even more.
Stockholm memories, scattered and smothered - *First things first, or Loose Ends Tied Up While-U-Wait Department: I arrived at Arlanda airport in Stockholm early in February 1969 wit...