I returned to the Philadelphian's Tri-Cen Run this year, I haven't been to this run since I met my third lover, Val Spacco back in the early 90s. Last time I was here, Walt and I were running Rochester Custom Leathers (RCL) and brought some of the store down here to run during the event at the host hotel! On the way, we lost the wheel bearings on our Ford Escort EXP on the NYS Thruway and had to transfer all of the leather into Bob Foley's truck to make the trip! Bob was just starting to re-consider re-joining the Rochester Rams. The Tri-Cen run is only held when New Year is on a weekend, I think this is due to the joining of this event with the Mummers Day Parade.
I arrived Friday morning about 10:30 at the Marriot Courtyard hotel and quickly unpacked - plugged the computer in and started to relax when Dan and Al showed up! December 31st was Al's 58th birthday, and my birthday present to him and Dan was this run! They had never been to Philadelphia, and I knew Dan would just love the Mummers Day Parade!! We spend Friday afternoon just walking about -- ending up having an authentic Philadelphia Cheesesteak for lunch! We came back to the hotel for a quick "disco nap" and headed out to the Bike Stop for registration and the first of many events planned for us by the Philadelphians. Dan and Al both managed to hook-up right away, which was great! They both came back to the bar later. Al and I rang in New Year at midnight at the Bike Stop and then walked back to the hotel to hang out at the hospitality suite. George, from New York was here, and he and Dan and I played a bit, which was a treat!
Saturday morning, Albert showed up about 9:30 (he'd been out all night!) -- the slut!! Danny had already headed out with George to see the Mummers Day Parade, which started at 9:00am with the "funnies", which are the non-professsional, local folks doing their thing! I took about 90 minutes to shower the hangover off and head outside to search for them. The crowd was huge. As always, it was fun to watch and the people lining the streets are almost as brightly-coloured as those in the parade! We used the hotel as home-base and headed out a few times; around 12:00 noon, we went back out to see the professional portion of the parade (the fancies and the strings) -- the crowd was too intense; we booked down a side-street and went to the Philadelphian's people events at the Community Centre instead. The only event we participated, Dan rather, was the "mold Rocky out of Cream Cheese" contest (as Philly is known for their cream cheese and the Rocky movies!
Then it was back to the hotel for some R&R and then to get ready for the formal dinner. Dinner was great, and seeing everyone at once in the large room really showed just how large this event was! After dinner, the cocktails flowed again in the hospitality suite -- the host club, and the cocktails being served rotated until about 4:00am!! Some folks walked to the Bike Stop, others, like myself knew to pace myself and took naps from 11pm to 2am. (It sucks getting older!) I popped back down to the party room about 3am, and it looked like a Roman orgy! Well, well, well... :-)
This morning, I woke up refreshed and without hangover, thanks to much better planning! As snow is forecast from Binghamton and north, Al and Dan decided to leave before brunch. It has been a great weekend, and I think everyone had a good time!
I can't help but remember meeting Val and wonder where he is today. Last time I headed to Mallory Dock (the bar he used to D.J. at from time to time in Hyannis, MA) I asked about him -- and no one knows where he went -- rumours about Florida or California is all I know... also, it was very obvious some of the Philadelphians that I knew were no longer with us, which is always a sad thing.
I also wish more of my club brothers from both the Rochester Rams as well as the Boston Bears traveled more and would have been here with us!!! I really love traveling with friends, and it was great with Dan and Al -- but having a dozen of us would have been a BLAST!!!
Next week at this time, I'll be meeting up with Joe S. in Atlanta for my last "play session" before my circumcision!! I'm starting to get a little nervous (which is to be expected!!) The countdown is now 8 days, 1 hour and 31 minutes!!