I'm booked and checked-in on Air Canada's #1123 at 11:00 on September 14 arriving at 12:33 to begin (I'm guessing now) our 23rd reunion since John DeLisle convened the first one in 1985. Many a tale has been told and retold since the mid 1960's when it all started in Thurstonia Park on Sturgeon Lake where a small, less than glorious, cottage was our weekend retreat. I think there were 12 guys who formed the original group, with Arch, Bill and me signing on for life a couple of years later. (We were the old guys who were allowed to hang out when some of the younger decided their weekend-time would be better spent elsewhere.) That roster remains to this day except for Pat and Arch who passed away rather suddenly. Jack, Phil and Paul have been replaced by Rod, Eric and the odd mystery guest (one named Piggy comes to mind) whose sudden appearance illuminates our gatherings from time to time. Our yearly experience seems to stay ignited by regular emails about horse races, football pools, birthdays, trips to the hospital and other remembrances of special occasions like anniversaries and a whole lot of times that make up the constant mix of our lives well lived.
I've told our story to many friends and, to a man or woman, they marvel at what we have been able to achieve and maintain for fifty-four years. Oh yes, the title 'CCCottage Reunion' was uttered by cousin Bill who stuttered a great deal as a youngster, but now reaching for 80 years his voice's ability has improved considerably.