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 Post subject: Meet-up
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Location: Myrtle Beach
I know several of you are waiting for a report about the meet-up tonight. Let me just say this: If you have ever wondered whether or not you should come to a meet-up, I think one look at these pictures will convince you to either scehdule one yourself or come to the next one when you are in Myrtle Beach.

The meet-ups are like a family reunion, and I can't tell you how much they mean to me. Wally was in charge of my camera tonight , so I have posted his pictures on the link below. I know Leo has some photos to post, and I look forward to seeing them. Thanks to all of you for being such an important part of my life.
http://www.funbeaches.com/meet-up.html

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:56 am 
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I don't know why I even bother to say all this because it's like a movie you've seen 37 times. Shopgirl (Meg Ryan) goes to meet NY152 at the end of the movie and discovers it's -- Tom Hanks. Awww. Who knew?

We all show up for a meetup at a predefined location in Myrtle Beach to introduce ourselves to complete strangers who we met via the Internet and discover it's -- another family from the Clan of the Perfect. Awww. Who knew?

Maybe you *have* heard this 37 times, but tell me, do you ever get tired of finding out that the people you talk to everyday on the message board are freakishly nice and ready-made lifelong friends?

As Patrish said, we all gathered at Coldstone Creamery at Broadway at the Beach for this year's second Myrtle Beach Message Board Meet-up. It was the perfect place for a meet-up because Katie and I are on diets, Emmy hates ice cream, West, Bob's son, is on a Lenten fast from ice cream, and Emily, Emmy's mother, told me about how unpasteurized ice cream wiped out her great-grandparents who were missionaries in Botswana in the 1800s. So hardly anyone had any food.

Well, I'm only partly kidding. I caved and had a few bites. Emmy, even though she's not a big ice cream fan, had a small cup to be social, and Emily will rap my knuckles for totally lying about her great-grandparents. But it IS true that poor West was only 3 days away from the end of Lent and we tortured the poor little guy with "Death by Chocolate" in the "Gotta Have It" size.

So let me get to the pictures and talk about some of our old friends and some of the new members of our formerly-electronic-and-now-flesh-and-blood family.

http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 6/original

First we met 16 year-old James who was accompanied by his father, Robert (left). James is from North Carolina and by all accounts he is a Jedi MagiQuest master. I didn't get much of a chance to talk to either of them but like all the teens who have attended these gatherings, James was very sweet, respectful, and kind. It's also clear that if the United States is ever under attack by the forces of Sony or THQ and our survival rests on whether we can beat them at video games such as Final Fantasy VIII, James will be the one to save the American Way as we know it. I, for one, am okay with that.

BobL and his family surprised us by showing up at the meet-up. I'd like to point out here that MikeL, who lives 3 nautical miles from Coldstone Creamery, failed to show again. Meanwhile, Bob, Mary, and the kids, who live about 759 miles away as the F-116 Stealth Fighter flies, had no problem getting there. Anyway, it was a great pleasure to have Bob and his family show up. They're just wonderful people with a too-good-to-be-true family. This is Bob's third (at least) meet-up and with his new condo being built at Market Common, he'll be a regular fixture at these things. We're blessed to have them.

http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 8/original

I know I kid Bob about how rich he is, but listen people, I have the photographic evidence to prove it. Here's Bob handing out $10s and $20s to passers-by at Broadway. "It's his only way of making friends." -- Mary

http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 6/original

Patrish and Bob
http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 8/original

West, Teresa, Katie in the background, and Noelle
http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 4/original

And then we had the privilege to meet another of our regulars for the first time, Emmy (Sun n'Fun), her husband Paul, son Simon, and mother Emily. I'll get to Emily in a second.

I remember writing a review about a meet-up nearly a year ago and Emmy posted a note about how she was worried I probably wouldn't have anything nice to say about her when I met her. She's such a kidder.

If there were a Message Board Miss Congeniality Pageant, Emmy would walk off with the trophy in a unanimous vote. She is one of those people you meet who is just full of life and she spills that enthusiasm all over you. If it didn't feel so good you'd need to hose yourself off when you got home. I looked over at her several times during the evening when she didn't know I was watching and I never once saw her without a smile on her face. You just want to freeze-dry her and package her up so you can hang her from your neck to ward off anxiety, joylessness, and the feeling you get when you find out that the local TV affiliate ISN'T broadcasting "Lost" in high definition.

I've also noticed an interesting phenomenon in our wacky Message Board universe -- the MB2 Member spouse who is every bit the gold standard human being as our MB2 member. Last night Paul, Emmy's husband, was Exhibit A in my theory. He was scary witty, incredibly intelligent, completely comfortable to be around, and just a barrel of laughs. Moreover, you could tell just by talking to him and watching him around Emmy that they have a best-friend relationship beyond their marriage.

The plan is for them to move from New York and buy a place in the Strand area in the very near future. It gets a little murky after that but Paul did mention a run for the Presidency sometime after the successful sorghum farm is established and the conglomerate raises the necessary cash for the early state primaries. The backup plan is a career rounding up shopping carriages at the Hwy 501 Walmart. Either way, he's going to make Americans very happy.

Paul and Emmy
http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 0/original

I don't often get to talk to the parents of a lot of our members when they show up at the meet-ups because I'm too focused on getting chummy with the members themselves, but Emmy brought along her mother, Emily, and I have to say this. I love seniors, mostly because I'm hurtling toward being one myself, and the closer I get the more I realize how much wisdom and kindness they have and how galactically far I need to go to get to their level.

Emily is one of those people you just can't stop hugging. She exudes wisdom, kindness, and affection. She was contemporary, fearless, knew who Sanjaya was, and probably could name the entire starting line-up of the New York Yankees AAA farm team in Columbus, Ohio. She was funny, smart, and the kind of mother, grandmother, aunt or godparent you wish you had growing up because no matter how old *you* were, she was always more of a friend than an authority figure. If no one else had shown up tonight, I could have talked to Emmy's mom until last call at Coldstone. She was an absolute delight. I think it should be required that anytime Paul and Emmy come to a meet-up, Emily should be forced to come as well. Also, if you're reading this Emily, you need to join the message board because Ron (Ichiban) needs the Yankee support.

Emmy and Emily
http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 2/original

Finally, we have Patrish and Wally. I've flat out run out of things to say about them. I love them to death. It's not enough to say that none of us would know any of the rest of us without Patrish as the hub of our cyber universe. But that's just a function of her avocation and doesn't do justice to her as a person. She is the personafication of graciousness and compassion. She is completely sincere when she talks about how much these meet-ups mean to her. She is a rare construct. Most message boards remain in two dimensions. I'm sure we all belong to one or more others. Do you know of any other forum that has coalesced into a group of people who meet regularly IN PERSON and have formed a true community of friends? It may happen elsewhere but it's VERY rare. Patrish has a chance to see hers become three dimensions every few weeks, and each time it happens it's a testament to her own ability to bring people together with an effortless touch that few others could master.

Here's a picture of Patrish with Mary, Bob's wife:

http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 4/original

And Wally is Patrish's perfect counterpart. Wally could talk Osama bin Laden into giving up terrorism to instead become a hardware store manager if given half a chance. Personally I won't talk to him because I'm not into six penny nails or faux painting supplies, and I just know I'd be shelling out a 7 figure franchise fee to ACE Hardware if Wally gets more than 30 seconds with me. Also, and more importantly, he's a true Southern gentleman in an age where that entity is becoming extinct.

So to echo what Patrish said, if you come to Myrtle Beach and you're a contributing member of this message board, and you forego the chance to schedule a meet-up, you're giving up the chance to assimilate into the Clan of the Perfect. And possibly have to hose off Emmy's sparkly happiness in your oceanfront hotel pool.

I close with a picture of Noelle. I told her to show everyone how big Grampy's brain was. She never hesitated. :)

http://www.pbase.com/traderboynh/image/ ... 2/original


Last edited by traderboynh on Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:13 am 
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Location: Myrtle Beach - Formerly Tyrone, PA
traderboynh wrote:
... I'd like to point out here that MikeL, who lives 3 nautical miles from Coldstone Creamery, failed to show again...

But that's because I was working 1.74943 nautical miles from Coldstone Creamery.

I did see and wave to Wally while I was Harley-mounted and on my way to work about 3 hours earlier. I told Wally that I'd have taken off and attended the meet-up, but was unable to because of Rudy's visit.

I also told him I would have looked forward to formally meeting you, Leo - because I've heard you're "like a crotch sniffin' dog, annoying as hell, but ya gotta love him anyway" (note that I relayed that to Wally BEFORE Ron's comment above :bootyshake: ).

OK, so I have to confess that I had few minutes to scoot over to the Coldstone Creamery just as the meet-up was starting. However - just as I approached - some nice guy wearing a gray Mickey Mouse t-shirt and jeans shorts handed me a $20 while stating "It's my only way of making friends."

THEN Wally approached me - and talked me out of the $20. Then my shirt, shoes, and wristwatch. I figured I'd hurry up and get out of there before I lost my sanity too.

Soooooo, I'm glad everyone had a good time.

The pics look great.

Next time... :nanner:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:25 pm 
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Location: Myrtle Beach- Formerly Nashua, NH
Ok, I've been trying to think of something to say all day long. I feel like the words were ripped right from my mouth, and all I have left to say is "ditto." :lol:

We had a fantastic time, and I was so glad to see everybody. Brett and I feel like meetups are our chance to get out and socialize with people we love dearly. It isn't even about meeting new people anymore. It's about spending time with people we feel we already know and cherish, even if we haven't met in person till that moment.

The only sad thing is that there's never enough time to talk to everybody as much as I want to. I found myself bouncing from one cluster of people to the next... trying to talk to everyone. We had to leave early, because it was past Kylie's bedtime, and she had a complete meltdown ("Warning Will Robinson... Danger! Danger!"). We got in the car and drove away, and I felt like plastering myself to the back window screaming, "Wait! Wait!! I don't want to leave!! Let me out!"

So here's the solution to my problem... you all need to move down here, and create a "Clan of Perfect" society right here in Myrtle Beach. End of story. Pack your bags. :whip2:

Thank you to everybody who shows up to these meetups. They are truly highlights for me.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:03 am 
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Location: Mentaly: Myrtle beach Physically: North Carolina
I had so much fun. It was great to meet you guys.

As promised heres my trip report and picture:
http://www.funbeaches.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=43723


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:07 pm 
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Location: Chester County Pa, Market Common, South MB
Quote:
Here's Bob handing out $10s and $20s to passers-by at Broadway
.

I was just trying to pay someone...anyone, to take that camera away from Leo before he took another picture of me!

Very nice meet up, my 4th by the way. I was very impressed with James and his story. He loves is Magiquest, as do my kids. He gave them some great tips, which they used today (yes more $20's were leaving the saftey of my wallet) while I stayed home and painted the bathroom. At least some of us were on vacation!

Nice to see my old friends and meet some new ones!


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