While there were quite a few people I hoped to see tonight but didn't, I will say that overall I had pretty much every era of the last ten years of my life well represented, and I feel absolutely blessed in that respect.
The first person to see was actually Micki, one of my first volleyball club kids. Only she's not a kid, she's this amazing, wonderful, beautiful grown-up. She just happened to be in Northeast Ohio this weekend (currently living in Pittsburgh), and I happened to comment on her status on Facebook, and there she was! We always had a somewhat difficult relationship in terms of the athlete-coach thing, but I always felt she was one of the kids I could most rely on. I coached her my first two years of club, when I really had no idea what the fuck I was doing, but she went on to pay in college and now she's an engineer for stuff on nuclear submarines. I'm infinitely proud of her!
The Penton Media era was represented by the Freeze's. As much as I try to stay connected to media, Freeze is still in it, and one of the few I know who has branched out and stayed in a role that really is about creating stuff. I admire that.
From ICOM, George was there with his wife Jen, and Cabbie, who recently joined AmeriCorps, also made an appearance. If it weren't for George's influence, I wouldn't be going to Microsoft. Cabbie is one of the most capable SQL people I've ever met, despite his tendency to make fun of my Zuma obsession on Xbox.
The most old school of Cedar Point/Guide to The Point/PointBuzz folk were represented by Brandon and Dan, the latter of which brought his wife Marissa, who was charming and lovely. Funny how I've seen more of them in the last two months than the last four or five years! The Willi's also stopped by, which gives me hope for a somewhat adult life, since they were there sans kids.
My dad was there, who is one of a shrinking number of people in the family still in NEO. He supplied adequate drink and stories of old times.
Diana had a number of work bosses show up too, including her immediate supervisor who I had never met.
Despite not seeing a great many people I would've loved to have seen, the mix was largely representative of the many people who've had a huge influence on my life, and I can't even put into words how thankful I am in that respect. I can't just leave and flip off NEO, because it's so core to everything that I am today. I'm so happy and thankful for the life I've had here.