Sunday, September 28, 2008

Valentine's Day Party in September?

I graduated from the University of Washington in 1969. My time in the Seattle area, as you would expect, offered me some of the best experiences and friendships of my life.

As a result, every year at Valentine's Day in February we go to a dinner party at the home of one of four couples on a rotating basis. In 2008, it was our turn to host the party but I was in Sicily and they didn't want to fly over the Atlantic Ocean to party in Catania! As a result, the 2008 party was hosted at our home last night with an Italian theme and as an excuse to gather together to watch the Huskies beat Stanford in a 7:00 p.m. game on television while we dined.

The initial common thread here is that all four husbands are U. of W. alumni who have known each other for over 40 years.

Peter "Spear" Claridge was a wide receiver for the Huskies and was a year ahead of me in school. He is THE most die-hard Husky fan I know and is dying a thousand deaths this season as our beloved Dawgs continue to swirl around the drain. His wife, Sherlyn, also went to the U. of W. and is a great counterpoint to Peter's intensity.

Paul Sabolic was an offensive lineman in his Dawg days and, though not quite as intense as Peter, has frustration issues growing as well as the Husky losses continue to mount. Paul's wife, Joanne, is bubbly and brings an air of hope to all Husky functions.

Mike "Tuna" D'Antuono was a wrestler for the Huskies who nearly upset Olympic Silver Medalist Rich Sanders in an epic match between the Huskies and Portland State in the late 1960's before a packed, frenzied home crowd in Seattle. He and his wife Susan, both cool, calm and collected Husky fans, are the main forces behind this now traditional yearly event that has gone uninterrupted for over 25 years with the exception of one missed year due to the "National Moratorium on Gatherings" imposed by the Reagan Administration.  Football nuts that they are, the D'Antuonos went to the UCLA vs. Fresno State game, won by Fresno State 36-31, at the Rose Bowl before driving the hour from Pasadena to Camarillo.

First Order of Business...Root the Huskies on to Victory!

Mike in the funky Italian hat, with Paul and Joanne behind him watching the game as Stanford builds a lead and our star QB Jake Locker goes down with a broken thumb in his passing hand!

All of our efforts did not work...

Final Score: Stanford 35 - Washington 28 dropping us to 0-4 on the season and 0-2 in PAC-10 play.

Laurie made a statement with her red based,
Valentine themed, dinner table.


Happy, Satisfied Friends Trying to Overcome the Agony of Defeat

Laurie, Joanne, Sherlyn and Susan

George, Paul, Peter and Mike

As it is every year, last night was a GREAT night of fun, food and friendship! Plans are already in motion for next year's gathering at the Claridge's new home in late January before our return to Catania.

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