Tonight I had a meeting with most of my gondoliers in Irving, Texas.
It was nothing fancy; we sat around a hotel suite, ate pizza, sipped wine, and talked about the job.
This was my first opportunity to meet some new hires, and a nice visit with old friends too.
Whenver gondoliers get together, there is always singing and storytelling, and it's never a quiet affair.
Gondoliers are many things, but "boring" is not one of them.
There are way too many details to share, and much of what was discussed was specific to our operation out here on Lake Carolyn, where we have a unique collection of boats, weather, and people.
So instead of giving you all the details, I'm just gonna throw out a list of quotes and phrases that were heard.
"I had to get there fast, so I put the gondola in full-tilt boogie!"
"Flesh heals, wood doesn't."
"His boat was drifting in the lake, and I had to chase him down - it was like retrieving a giant bottle-message."
"Sometimes you've got nothing but your wits, and a Swiss Army knife, as you're standing there in your underwear."
One of my favorite quotes, was by a gondolier talking about one of his first cruises where just about everything that could have gone wrong, did.
"Instead of That's Amore, it was Welcome to the Jungle".
We talked about "gondolizing" a song,
One guy was described by another as having a "black belt in music",
someone fell out of his chair, causing everyone to crack up,
and a room full of people came away with great memories and shared wisdom.