Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wednesday Lunch After 25 Years, Or So

I've been having lunch once a week with the same bunch of six or eight guys for I don't know how many years.  I'll estimate twenty-five.  The Lunch was first launched when a close buddy of mine told me he was having marital problems, and needed an ear to bounce stuff off.  (Mine.)  We met weekly, and while his marriage unfortunately didn't last, he and I decided that we liked our Wednesday $4.95 steak sandwich tete a tete.  We vowed to keep them up.  In fact, we decided to invite the other guys we skied and golfed with.  Twenty-some years later here we are.  The Lunch has become an institution, second nature to all of us.  Not everyone can always make it, in fact some of the original cast have moved away from the area.  But it's a testament to the friendships we've made that, after all these years - though our jobs, schedules, and circumstances have changed - everyone still makes it a priority to "do lunch" every Wednesday if they're in town.  I can't remember the last time our weekly lunch didn't happen.  It gives us an opportunity to discuss, argue, and learn from each other, find out what's coming up the next week (and more importantly, next weekend), and meet guests who happen into town.  Once in a very rare while we'll even have our ladies join us (for example, the week before Xmas).  Venues and menus change - that steak sandwich is now $16.95, and is often replaced by heart-healthy salads, without croutons, please - but just like the Energizer bunny, we keep going and going.  Yesterday was a case in point, a "special" routine lunch.  One of our regulars who had long ago moved to the city, and has been battling a particularly pernicious form of cancer, road his motorcycle out to have lunch with us.  He probably doesn't know how often his name comes up at our weekly get-togethers (until he reads this), but to see him in remission yesterday, hair and Harley back, was truly something special.  And guess what?  He's going to try to make it out here for our weekly lunch as often as he can from now on.