Top 10 Things I learned at the Monroe Reunion:
10. Of all the generations, to the best of our figuring, there is not a single lawyer among us. Take that as you may.
9. The Monroe’s are so frugal, when Jean sent out her questionnaire, everyone in Building 16 opted out of the “hot water upcharge.” I wish I’d known about that.
8. D Monroe one-upped us all by using his rental car as a hotel room. Well played, D.
7. The only two places left that Ron and Anne Dahl have not visited are Detroit and outer space. Since they must choose between the two, they have completed flight simulation exercises and will graduate to zero-gravity training shortly.
6. Due to the use of coupons, “buy 1 get 1 free” promotions, and group discounts, the City of Port Townsend has actually lost money on our reunion.
5. According to Jean’s instructions on “How am I related,” I seem to be an HWB0C12. If I recollect my high school chemistry, I am highly reactive to caffeine, sugar, and fermented hops. I have two isotopes, both of which carry negative charges. I assume they are named “Bob” and Doug.”
4. Upon check-out, Mark Monroe’s Toyota Corolla rental car had 8 miles on it and was considered to be in “Excellent” condition. Upon its return, the car had numerous scratches, four dents, the upholstery in the back seat was missing, as was the car’s manifold and left rear door. The car’s odometer read, “Error.” Mark’s response: “Damned Japanese cars.”
3. Gretchen Higbee walks 10,000 footsteps every day! This is particularly impressive considering the fact that she is living in an RV while doing so. After living in Earl’s RV for 10 days, I’m averaging 241 ½ footsteps per day. Where did the ½ step come from, you ask? The commode in the RV has a foot-activated lever. It turns out you shouldn’t have asked.
2. Anne Dahl’s DVD rendered the entire Monroe clan speechless. The publishers at Guinness have been notified.
And the number one thing that I learned during the Monroe 2008 Reunion:
1. At some point in the last couple of weeks, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had twins. I think I’ll go back to the RV now.
It was wonderful to see everyone, and unfortunate that we couldn’t see EVERYONE. It turns out that the REM’s, under the leadership of Barbara, will take on the task of coordinating the next reunion. We were so excited talking about it last night (in Woodland, WA, just south of Mt St Helens) that we actually started making tentative plans.
Today we made a brief stop in Salem, OR where we took a spin around the state capitol, and Earl caught out of the corner of his eye the Oregon State Office Building where he worked for the Selective Service. In his words, “the best way to make sure I didn’t go to war was to be proficient at determining who did go to war.” We made an illegal stop, snapped a photo, and proceeded west two blocks to the boarding house where he stayed while working in Salem. The adorable bungalow at 1410 Court Street was beautifully maintained, much to Earl’s satisfaction.
We are now passing through Eugene on our way to Crater Lake. Since we are now straddling the eastern edge of the so-called “Ring of Fire,” tomorrow we’ll muse about one of my favorite topics in geology: volcanoes.