Most of the masthead of this blog and many of the occasional commenters met through a certain regularly scheduled happy hour that has taken place in and around Washington, DC, for the past many years. If you know the history or just want to know where to get a drink this Friday, please scroll to the final paragraph. Otherwise, please read on.
It all really started before the digital age when, in 1991, I started to run into former college classmate JWE while commuting into the city via Metro. That's how we did it in the old days, folks, before Facebook. We scheduled a few after work gatherings, until one evening during the winter of 1991-92, when four alums got together for a few beers. For the sake of posterity, their number included JWE, a fellow named MAK, me, and a lass whose name needn't be bandied about in these parts. At the end of the evening, I mentioned to MAK that it would be nice to hold the meetings more regularly, and so the happy hour has met weekly and with very few interruptions since that date.
In the early years, MAK set the venue and issued the call to arms by telephone, by which I mean landline, of course. Regular attendance increased over time, in large part thanks to JJV, who happens to know a lot of people who don't think similarly to himself, so those folks were all welcome. When work caused MAK to move out of town for a few years, he bequeathed administration of the events to me. I converted the still growing list of attendees to e-mail, which helped to solidify the expanded following. After many years, I had to pass the torch to Dave P., who has ably managed the weekly events while parenting has caused many of us to drift in and out of the regular scene.
Dave P. recently embarked on a three-month tour abroad, where he is keeping the world safe for longstanding happy hours. While he is away, MAK and I are coming out of retirement to make sure that things remain organized until Dave P's return in April. That's not to say that we won't tinker with the formula, but we hope to deliver the same kind of old-school professional and social networking that the events have always offered.
In the meantime, feel free to share in the comments section--without naming any names--your favorite memories from the past 18 years of general foolishness. Among my personal favorites was the Burning Coffee Table of Cleveland Park, which was unfortunately a JWE heirloom. It was no Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, but it spoke to me in its own way. Others might wax rapsodic over a 1996 RV trip to Ann Arbor to deliver some happy hour joy to two of the treasured regulars. There's much confusion over everything that happened that weekend, and I'd have to say that's probably for the best.
For this week, please report this Friday, January 8, to the Old Dominion Brewhouse, which is located at 1219 Ninth Street, NW. It's very convenient to the Mt. Vernon Square-Seventh Street-Convention Center Metro Station on Metro's Yellow and Green lines. The festivities start at 6:30. If you don't know me, I look Midwestern and answer to JWT.