I call it the Statue of Liberty Effect. When you're a visitor you do the things that the people who live there never do. In the case of Nancy coming into town from California, it means people getting together who haven't seen each other for years.
I worked with Nancy in the Interiors department of GM in the 1990s, and for a while we were part of a team of engineers working on a the interior of a "future" vehicle. Somehow this particular group of people consisted of all big, bold personalities, many of us very young at the time, and everyone was LOUD. Except for our late manager Phil who was kind of quiet, maybe because he had Tourette's syndrome, he was always passing out detailed hand-written instructions called "Rezenka-grams." I remember that he seemed completely overwhelmed in our many boisterous meetings, but he kept gathering us together because it was important to him that we function as a little family, volume and all.
Julie conjured up a list of email addresses and right away Frank replied "geez, willya look at those names?". Paul replied that he would be attending WFIT which is the state we were required to be prior to a certain trip to Oshawa. (With Food In Tummy) When those that could make it gathered today at a place we used to go for lunch, it started out seeming like so much has happened in everyone's lives since those 15 years ago, but then it progressed to lots of "remember the time" conversations and then to...well, general boisterous hilarity. Just like back then. People really don't change that much, even when the circumstances of their lives change a lot. What I've noticed is that when a certain set of personalities gather, the personality of the group transcends all of the changes and kind of falls right back where it always was. In this case, loudness.
Let me just tell you this: Always go to reunions of any kind. Just go, and be there.
Our director from that time even showed up. He was the one to hire me away from Chrysler to GM back in 1991, and I had copied him on my "goodbye forever" letter when I left last spring. So he looked kind of quizzical at my ID badge when he saw me. I tried to explain about how I came to be back, but, it was LOUD in there.
I really enjoyed seeing and catching up with these old friends, and of course Nancy who has been an inspiration to me for so many things, even this blog. I have the feeling that this isn't the last time we'll be gathering, because when Nancy visits, well, people just tend to get together. I think it would have made old Rezanka happy to know that we did this. Who knows maybe he does. Perhaps he could hear us, after all we were pretty LOUD.