After the retirement open house for all us guys at the Mary who took early retirement, we then proceeded to downtown to the Cherry Street Brewing for a party.
From this picture I can see several co-workers, one brother and one former boss. Cherry Street Brewing Company was the scene of several MDH functions, among them, several Mike Johnson Open gold charity outings.
Whilst seemingly unable to put down the beer for a group pic, I am still able to stand, according to this picture. With me are are newly retired fellow MDH'ers These guys worked with me through my entire career at the Mary, and after this launched a weekly breakfast club where we met at various places for breakfast, gossip and catch-up. When I escape this place and return North, we still meet. Nice guys, these two.
The current Mrs. Blythe joined the festivities at Cherry Street. And, again, I clutch to the beer like a life preserver.
Joining my fellow newly retired is Marilyn who came up from Springfield. "Tap" was there counseling when I started and I gained a lot of knowledge from her. She was kind of a psychic when it came to the kids: she knew when things were brewing. It is not a thing you are born with, it takes time to develop and she was good. A great counselor, Tap was fun to work with and I will always appreciate her company and skills.
Ever the photog, here I am getting some last pics in of the place. This is the front hall and you can see the metal detector in the back. This is where parents would be scanned for any contraband. The door to the right is Randy's office. Mine was to the left of the scanner.
It was an exciting day and for the most part I hated the open house. It was the kind of social gathering that makes me most anxious. Small talk, being "on", trying to be equally glib, clever, and funny. Nope, that ain't me. But I survived, of course, and my thoughts as I left that day were naturally mixed. It was all I had done except summer work with Uncle Ed. But it was time to go, the offer was too good, and so off I went, to a party at Cherry Street and a summer of riding.
I'm sure I also thought of the times I had had, and the kids I had met. The fun times, and the not so fun times. Navigating personalities, simply surviving, and the friends I had made for a lifetime. I hope I helped some kids, and hope they think fondly of me, if they think of me at all. I had always imagined I would have liked a career teaching, and looking back on it, I think that's exactly what I had. Not numbers or grammar, but of something more important: social behavior. I taught choices, options, ways to feel less pain, how to walk away and how to stand up. I think I taught hope and I think I taught strength. Not too shabby.