Twenty four years ago today, Mel and I met at a party held by a friend of ours, Richard. Richard is the consumate host. He absolutely loves people and loves having parties. Richard is also a whiz at getting someone else to throw parties for him and this day was no exception!
I met Richard many years ago when we both worked for Pan Am. We met on a flight from San Franciso to New York. We were fortunate enough to fly in the upstairs first class lounge along with our mutual friend, Jay Gordon, on a 747. Meeting Richard was meeting my best friend - he and I get along like a house on fire - we love being silly together, working hard together and enjoying life.
Richard and I had a blast in New York. We were there for an AWARE conference and there were people from all over the world attending. Richard and I snuck out of boring meetings to shop at Macys for his daughters and wife. We watched the antics and intriques of the Pan Am politicking and we became life long friends.
Richard and I often went on conferences with Pan Am AWARE and worked trade shows and promoted Pan Am to travel agents and the public.
Richard's wife Sue, whom I have grown to love dearly, was welcoming to me and I soon visited them for meals and get togethers.
One of the parties that Richard threw for AWARE was for a tourism class. Richard not only invited the class, he also invited his best buddy, Mel.
So, it was here, at the tourism class party that I met Mel.
Mel was very nice and we chatted a bit. He asked me if he could drive me home and I told him that I was going to spend the night with Richard and Sue and leave the following morning to fly down to Los Angeles where I was to meet my sister to go to Disneyland.
Early the next morning, Richard and I were having coffee and Mel called. Richard shined him on - a very recognizable trait of both his and Mel's ... sometimes it drives me nuts! - and talked about how wonderful I was and did not let on that I was sitting right there. It was pretty evident that Mel was interested in me, but before the days of cell phones, he would just have to wait.
My sister and I had a fun time down in Disneyland. I am a known coward and so she lead me gently from the Materhorn to the largest roller coaster ride, each one a little bit more scary in the riding.
When I got back to San Franciso, I got a phone call at work one day and it was Mel asking me if he could call me at home and if so, if he could have my phone number.
I gave him my phone number and as the saying goes ... the rest is history! Thanks, Richard!