Here I am sitting in a hotel room in Albany New York, waiting to go to dinner and a meeting. It has been 20 some-odd years since I made my first trip up here, and I wonder where the time went?
In that time, a lot of things have happened, some of them bad but most of them good. Albany is not what I call a very hip or sophisticated town, although it is almost there. Don’t forget that compared to Washington D.C., it is small in comparison and interest. The downtown area is very interesting with its Old Dutch names and flavor, but it is a quiet local history.
My very first trip I drove up by myself, feeling very lost and uncertain. I got lost finding the hotel and when I did, I was almost late for the dinner, a formal affair with a cocktail hour. I remember the weather getting dark as a light sprinkle of snow came down, adding to my misery. Among the attendees were people I did not know, didn’t know where they came from, and desperately looked for my fellow board members from Suffolk, talk about feeling insignificant!
Since that historical trip so many years ago, I have grown familiar with the area, the attendees and my co-board of governors from Long Island and my agency in particular have made me feel at ease.
But what is happening is the amount of fun that drives my fellow agency board members to Albany and the trip back. It is always highlighted by a stop off at Arthur Avenue in The Bronx in Little Italy, to reward ourselves for a job well down.
Last year I sat next to two Jews, one spilled water on me in a bar and the other in a restaurant! Here two Jews baptized me in the space of 24 hours!
One of the gentleman, and I won’t mention his name, but his initials are Ken Walker’s has forgotten his keys in Albany, going all the way home to discover he could not drive home from the Park & Ride on the LIE! The next time out he forgot his cell phone! I wonder if one day he doesn’t show up but his keys and phone do?