Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blue Devils, Bulldogs and Beer (Oh, my!)

Last night was the Championship Game for this year's NCAA basketball tournament.  After weeks of "March Madness"...the "Sweet Sixteen" was whittled down to the "Elite Eight" and then all that was left was the "Final Four".  There was some almost unbelievably great basketball played in this year's tourney...but - I think I say that every year.  It's the purest form of amateur competition, with each and every game being of the "lose-and-you're-out" variety!

Never being the kind of guy to let an opportunity to get together with my good friends pass me by - (especially with only twenty-one days remaining until we leave for India!!) -  I had called for getting a last-minute war-party together to watch the game and quaff a few beers - and, most especially, to have a final chance to say goodbye to some wonderful old friends.  Now that my forty-six day Lenten fast from enjoying fine craft beers and ales was over...I thought we'd meet at one of my favorite haunts... the always-classy 38-Degrees Ale House and Grill in Alhambra (just south of where we live in Pasadena.)  In addition to having a "murderer's row" lineup of fine craft-beer taps on the wall behind their bar... 38-Degrees has SIX high-definition TV screens in the bar area.

Through a couple of e-mail blasts, we got us a fairly good response (for a Monday!) and ended up with fourteen RSVP's - - I called them "THE FINAL FOURteen".  (Twelve stout lads and lasses actually came!)  Last night was the time o' the gathering...and I can't tell you how much fun we all had!  Yeah...the basketball game was awesome (and my team won, despite my being the only Duke fan in the pub, or so it seemed!  Everyone was rooting for the underdog and this year's Cinderella team, the Butler Bulldogs!)...but the game was merely a sidelight to the fun, fellowship and frothy-goodness that the rest of the evening held for all that showed up!  Rather than try to tell you in word-pictures...allow me to present some of the "phine photography" that was done during last evening's festivities!!  (See below!)

Thank you Cassy and Kirk (for sharing your secret...shhhh!) and Beach Bum Chris and Adam Lamar and Mark and Julie Macy and Mitchell Dean Lane from Verdugo Hills High School and David "Double-Nickel" Trinkle, Joe and my brother Sigma Chis Mike Mayer and his son Blake...to our awesome beer-wench, Amanda (no letters, please...it's a term of profound reverence and affection!) - and especially Clay, the owner of 38-Degrees for the fine hospitality and warm welcome!!  We missed you Wally and Kelly...and most-especially the other Guest of Honor, Amy Suzzanne, who worked until 3:00 A.M. this morning (Thank God the "March and April Madness" of her annual Busy Season will soon be over!)

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