1. The Turners generous hospitality continued in the morning with bracing coffee, chicken sausage and eggs: a great breakfast and more superb conversation.
2. I drove the rental car to Eugene and went straight to Russell's and, while we didn't go take pictures, we did head straight to our favorite eatery, Pure, and enjoyed a tasty and relaxing lunch, with great conversation, and we got to see the friendly server who has waited on us for a long time and she was as sweet to talk with as ever. This was the perfect way to start my visit in Eugene.
3. I drove from Pure up to Sparky's house so we could enthusiastically embrace each other and have a good talk about the upcoming New Shakespeare Showcase and about Sparky's hopes and dreams for Fools Haven and other projects. Scintillating. Uplifting. Energizing.
4. From Sparky's I headed straight to 16 Tons to quaff a couple of beers with the mates I met with every Thursday afternoon for many months when I lived in Eugene. Jakob was pouring and I got to talk with his dad about his kidney transplant and then Don and Richard and Cliff rolled in and we had a great time, as always, talking about all kinds of stuff and having great laughs. As I got ready to leave, who walked in but the Deke's and my beer drinking pals Sherri and Jay -- I nearly came out of my skin with surprise and joy and after hugs and big smiles, we wrote down one another's numbers so we could make a plan to get together later.
5. I was hasty with Jay and Sherri because I wanted to get to Billy Mac's to meet up with the gang of friends who meet there nearly every Thursday and so I got to see the great friends I've shared so many IPAs and margaritas and Caesar salads and taco specials with over the last three or four years AND I got to see John and hug Amber AND Rita joined us and so my LCC friends got to see Rita again and maybe Rita will join in the evenings at Billy Mac's. Being at Billy Mac's and being with friends I've known and worked with for so many years gave me a deep sense of being at home and I was aching with joy.
6. A most joyful day back in Eugene crescendoed at the Hult Center when Rita and I went to hear the Eugene Symphony play a wonderful and various program -- Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto featuring a spirited soloist, was the highlight for me, not only for how beautifully the orchestra and soloist performed it, but for all the lovely memories that this piece inspired in me as I listened. I saw some of my very favorite passages of my life play out in front of my mind's eye and I reveled in how I've been such a fortunate person in so many ways.