There are not too many things more enjoyable than an evening of food, drink, companions, good conversation, and lots of laughter. Throw in Rotary and it comes out pretty much perfect.
Although we went to Peaks and Pints, which features hundreds and hundreds of different brews, I had a root beer; there were a few glasses of wine and a few of beer. Ron Swarner and his partners have done a great job with this new gathering place in the Proctor District. The main hall was pretty much full, but our smallish group had the long hall to ourselves. The hall had windows that were wide open. On a cool night this could have been a problem, but with warm welcomes and old Heidelberg advertising on the twenty foot high walls. It felt like home. The Heidelberg Brewing Company operated in downtown Tacoma from 1953 to 1979. When I was in the Tacoma Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce), we met in their taproom. In those days I drank real beer and usually more than one.
We had great service. Peg and I shared a beet salad that featured nuts and blue cheese. Excellent. The deviled eggs were too spicy for Peg and were just right for me. Everyone seemed to enjoy their sandwiches. One friend even had her Reuben served without bread. Peaks and Pints were very accommodating. We tried to keep track of the University of Washington football game with Oregon State, but we had other more important things to think about and do. Just talking was one of them.
Peaks and Pints is next door to G Donalsons, which now stands empty. Something Peaks and Pints might borrow from Steve Smith (owner of G Donalsons) was his choice of entertainment. Steve brought in “Little Bill” Englehart to play his blues on Saturday evenings. If “Little Bill” played in the long hall, I would be a regular . . . oh, I might be anyway. But I love live entertainment.
From Peaks and Pints we moved on to the Tacoma Little Theatre. This is their 99th Season and remains the oldest community theater this side of the Mississippi. This was the final weekend of “Rumors,” which was a farce written by Neil Simon. Formal dress, gunshots, shouting and fowl language on stage offered two acts of mayhem and hilarity.
Managing Artistic Director and fellow Rotary #8 buddy Chris Serface was taking the night off, but Office Manager Karen Christensen did a fantastic job of getting our group settled. We had the last two rows of the center section. It is so nice to have groups sitting, chuckling, chortling, guffawing, giggling, snickering, and roaring together. When you have a fun loving group pointing and poking each other during a performance, you know people are having fun.
I had friends in the audience I hadn’t seen in person for some time. Dave Brenneman used to lend a hand with our production of The Spud Goodman Show on Cable-TV in the eighties. We remain Facebook friends, but we hadn’t seen each other in person for years. This was a good opportunity.
Also, in the house was Scott C. Brown. Scott reminded me that we had been partners exactly twenty years ago. Scott was a great resource in digital marketing and video production while I was local Rotary President in 1996/97. Since then Scott had performed on stage in many of our local theaters. He introduced me to his girl friend (another actor) and then to the director of Rumors, Erin Manza Chanfrau. Erin pointed out that every character in the play ends up in a threat-level brown situation. But I don’t think she was talking about Scott. During intermission, I managed to let Erin know what a great job I thought she had done. There were lots of actors on stage at the same time, moving and crossing, and yelling.
I think everyone in the audience enjoyed the show. I know our group of Rotarians, spouses, and friends did. I chatted with two newer members that I had never really talked with before. Soon we’ll be golfing at American Lake Veterans Golf Course along with TJ Staupe, a friend who also joined our group. I know that Lakewood Rotary and Clover Park Rotary have supported the American Lake Veterans Association for years. Peg’s Soroptimist group recently donated $500 to them also and have for the past six years. Local President, and former Rotary scholar and winner of our Rotary Community Service Award, Jan Runbeck led much of the laughter at the play as well.
Peg and I had a great time, but it wasn’t a perfect evening . . . we stopped off at Metropolitan Market for a slice of Hummingbird Cake, and a piece of New York Cheesecake. Sitting at our kitchen table savoring each bite, we talked about the dinner and the play and held hands. Then it was a perfect evening . . . especially when I found out that the UW Huskies had defeated the Oregon State Beavers 42-7.