Twenty or so years ago, when we were all working at Sun Microsystems, I’d get a common email on Friday afternoon that would say something like: “HH at Village Tavern this week?”
“HH” stood for “Happy Hour” and our little group of 5, Kay, Keith, Deborah, Ravi, and I, would enjoy an end-of-week respite at a local area bar.
These Happy Hours were filled with a lot of laughter and (maybe a little too much) drinking. I always looked forward to this weekly Friday ritual. We even had a big adventure trip to Las Vegas, in 2002. (I’d say more here, but What Happened in Vegas, Stayed in Vegas!)
We were an unlikely and diverse group of friends.. almost 30 years difference between the youngest (Ravi) and the oldest (Kay). Keith stood at least a foot taller than the rest of us. They were all coders and I was a manager. (Luckily, they didn’t hold that against me.)
Ravi, who had immigrated from India, was.. and still is… one of my favorite people in the whole world. We all went to see his baby girl the day she was born and now she’s a beautiful young adult. I think Kay (and her husband, Walt) taught Ravi to ski and we all got together for skiing, golf, hockey (Keith and Ravi played) or skating.
Keith, the only single one amongst us back then, would entertain us with his single-life dating stories. I remember Ravi once said something about Keith not wanting to date anyone with too much ‘luggage’! (Yeah, those language gaffes were the best! Ravi still is so funny and innocently cracks us all up!)
Kay was a sky-diver and adventurer. Deborah was super-classy and sassy! Keith was a confident jokester. And Ravi was naive and lovable.
Over time, Keith got married to Yolanda, and I got divorced. There were moves and job changes, family responsibilities. Happy hours became few and far between.
Though our regular Happy Hours stopped many years ago, we occasionally kept in touch. The last time we were all together may have been in 2010 at my 50th birthday party.
Keith and Yolanda moved to Arizona and then to Folsom, California. Deborah had a baby and moved to Highlands Ranch so Happy Hour wasn’t much of an option for her anymore either.
I tried to get together with Ravi at least once a year for his birthday in August. This year, I suggested we try to get the HH Gang back together and have a FaceTime call to Keith.
Our reunion was so wonderful. Even though the call with Keith was short, he said he’d be in Colorado later this year, and we could maybe get us all together in person.
Kay, Deborah, Ravi, and I reminisced, laughed, and shared stories of the many years that had passed and the changes that we’d all been through.
At the end of our 2002 Vegas Trip, Deborah and I split a $5 bill with the thought that one day we’d all go back to Vegas, tape together the two halves, and gamble our lucky $5 (Was the plan Black Jack or Roulette? I can’t remember.)
Well, Deborah is more organized than I am and had her half of the $5. Not me. I can’t even find the CD I’d put together or a single picture from our Vegas trip! (This has me quite upset, but I’ll resist ranting about it on this blog post.)
I have to admit, our reunion brought up a lot of nostalgic feelings for me. This little group of friends was with me to help me through a very difficult time of my life – the year I was going through my divorce. They each are so unique and different from one another, but together, we were the “HH Gang”.. a group of friends that I will forever hold dear in my heart.