Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friends of the Philharmonic Holiday Meeting

Terry invited me to a lunchtime meeting of the Friends of the Philharmonic. The meeting was at the Interlachen Country Club (2245 Interlachen Court, Winter Park.) She informed me that there was going to be a White Elephant Holiday gift exchange that was rather fun.When I walked into the Country Club dining room, I was certain I was the youngest person in the room. I looked around for Terry but didn't see her. After a text and second phone call, I saw her enter the room. She introduced me around and the pre-dinner chatter grew louder. Gretchen was kind enough to compliment me on the sketches that were used on the United Arts Report to the Community. Jenny Rudberger from the Philharmonic played violin the whole social hour walking around the room.

When everyone sat down to eat, Terry told me I could start my sketch. I sat on a couch at the front of the room and got to work. A waitress served me a salad, putting it on the coffee table in front of me. I ate the fruit but didn't eat the whole salad since I wanted to keep making progress with the sketch. The lunch was some rather dry chicken and mashed potatoes with a distinct flavor of liquor. I grew agitated when I couldn't find a watercolor palette and rag. Luckily I had a backup palette and Terry suggested I get some napkins from the men's room.

When I finished the sketch, I joined Terry back at the main table. When the business meeting started up, it was announced that there are 181 members who are Friends of the Philharmonic. The treasurer recited a list of numbers all of which culminate in the fact that the Friends are solvent. Executive Director David Shillhammer announced that the Philharmonic would again join forces with Mad Cow Theater to keep Opera alive in Orlando. Frank McClain will direct La Boheme in April with a limited staged performance at the Bob Carr.

Then came the moment everyone was waiting for, the White Elephant Gift Exchange. All the presents were neatly wrapped under a Christmas Tree at the front of the room. At each table people had to figure out who's birthday was closest to December 1st. That person had to hand a rubber ball to the person to their left. The person with the ball could then pick a present from under the tree and unwrap it at the table. Once the present was unwrapped they would hand off the ball to the next person. That person could steal the first present if they wanted or pick a new gift from under the tree. Stealing was encouraged. At our table Dianne Souder unwrapped a small stuffed gorilla that made shrieking gorilla noises when it's tummy was pressed. I didn't feel like stealing it, so I picked a small heavy box from under the tree. I thought maybe it was a golden bar because of its weight, but it turned out to be glass coasters. Useful I suppose, I shoved it towards Terry. Terry got two large, tall oriental coffee mugs with symbols for peace and happyness transcribed on them. They were tasteful and nice. Most presents were tasteless and tacky like a door stop and a gator cup with a ceramic gator head inside the cup which would slowly appear as you sipped the coffee. You can probably tell that I kind of covet the gator cup which was picked by Nancy Phipps. Well maybe she will re-gift it next year.

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