Centennial -- 06/18/11

Well, as I had mentioned in some earlier entries, the company that so wisely employs me to do stuff is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. This Thursday was the official day and a bunch of us got together to celebrate. Unlike the very foggy day a couple of weeks ago when I showed you our intended party site (Eisenhower House), we had beautiful weather for our party. (Days of clouds and rain leading up to the party -- then rain plus thunderstorms almost all day yesterday).

So we gathered at Eisenhower House around noon -- blue skies and full sun -- about a hundred of us (current employees plus some retirees) where we had some appetizers (clam cakes and stuffies and clam chowder) and wandered about chatting with people we hadn't seen for a while (these days so many of us work from home -- in Rhode Island we are in the majority). Some of us played croquet and horseshoes on the vast lawn...

and then we had some lunch... and we got four retirees to share some brief stories from their days with the company...

And as an extra special bonus, we had a perfect view of two of the J-class yachts that are here this week for a special J Class Regatta competition.

As you may know, the America's Cup races were held in Newport from 1930 through 1983. It was all J Class boats racing for the America's Cup throughout the 1930s. In recent years there has been a revival of interest in J Class boats -- three replicas have been built following 1930s designs and four more are under construction. Here you see them heading down the bay... along with a vast flotilla of smaller motorboats, cabin cruisers, etc. following along to watch them sail. (I don't know the specs on these two particular boats, but I believe J Class runs between 120 and 135 feet in length, and they certainly towered over everything else in the water.) And then, in the pictures below (taken later) you see them on their return leg.

Oh, and while I am dealing out historical trivia... I had mentioned that Eisenhower House got its name because it was considered to be the Summer White House during the Eisenhower administration. It is interesting to note that Hammersmith Farms is a neighboring property... where Jacqueline Bouvier grew up and where her wedding to Jack Kennedy was held and which served as the Summer White House during his presidency. So little old Rhode Island served as the summer vacation spot for two presidents in a row (and in the same neighborhood).

Later that afternoon, I went to the Pineapple Restaurant at the Hyatt Hotel on Goat Island along with some of my colleagues who had been in the same department (education) with me when we were still all showing up every day in a physical office. Goat Island is a small island just off the coast of Aquidneck Island (i.e., Newport) and the Pineapple is an outdoor restaurant with a fantastic view of Narragansett Bay and the Newport Bridge (behind me you can see the lower portion of the ramp up to the main part of the bridge). It was great to look at the bay and drink a cold beer and catch up with friends.

(Note to Dick Duffy: the shirt is a souvenir of a couple of weeks spent in Sydney working with the Call Centre Solutions group... 14 years ago... time flies!)

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