Like our low-tech job, that has very few moving parts, the basic assembly of last night's event might not sound all that amazing at first...but take part and you'll understand why we all love it so much.
I love the internet, but I must say that six hours on Facebook with even the best of friends...can't hold a candle to the old fashioned get together we keep coming back for at Sunset Gondola.
This most recent edition of our "pilgrimage to Captain Jack's" saw some old traditions - food cooked right there and served hot, various tasty beverages offered by guests, a couple guys taking turns with guitars.
This time we introduced a new tradition as well.
As he has done such a great job in keeping the "pilgrimage" alive, Tim Reinard also brought us this new tradition:
it was the "presentation of the marinera".
As much as we all love spaghetti sauce, this marinera is quite different - it's part of a gondolier's traditional uniform.
Typically white, the marinera takes it's name from "mariner" and is easily recognized as a sailor's shirt, with it's wide square-back collar which hangs down across the shoulder blades.
Tim had been planning for some time, to present his gondolier Chris "Rotto Sorriso" with one of these shirts.
Tim told me the week prior to the event that "you don't just get a marinera around here".
His meaning was clear: most gondoliers get or are given stripes, but the marinera signifies a level of accomplishment.
The gondolier needs to earn his marinera.
So last night, surrounded by a group of gondoliers and friends, Tim presented Chris with a crisp white marinera, and then in keeping with tradition, a toast was raised with black rum, and everybody cheered for Chris.
Chris sports a crisp white marinera.
Andrew goofs while Jeremy, Chris and I crack up.