boy, it’s going to be really difficult to resume my comments about the three-day after having not written for so long, but i’ll give it a shot.

oh yes, i was writing about my fellow concierge crew members. i talked about ruthann and connie, bob and gloria, nona, donna, michelle, linda, and annie. that leaves… let’s see… who else did i get to know well enough to talk about… there’s julia and barbara, jennifer and judy, cheryl… i think that’s it. yop, just checked my list.

i’m not sure what julia and barbara’s relationship is… are they mother and daughter? they don’t have the same last name and i’m quite sure julia’s not married. julia was the one other person my age, and barbara looked to me anywhere between 25 and 45. she looked on the younger side, to me, but i can’t remember as well now. after a while you don’t remember so well things like wrinkles, if there are any, and all you remember are the way people smile. anyway, i have never in my life ever met anyone like julia. i can’t figure her out at all, but i, along with everyone else i think, loved her anyway. she’s totally spacey… my guess is she’s either slightly crazy or just a total free spirit with a really strong sense of her own center. she’s really nice and definitely not unintelligent, so i tend to think she’s not loca, but if the truth is that she’s really as balanced as the latter possibility, i’m amazed, because i’ve never met anyone my age who’s been so well-centered. she intrigues me. on the bus to camp on day one, we passed a van with a youngish man driving. he was staring frankly at our bus, all agape, i think, at all the women inside! julia and barbara noticed and laughed about it. julia’s very pretty, in my opinion at least, and i’m sure the van’s driver thought so too because she smiled in his direction (in her somewhat spacey, but very cute, way) and waved. i don’t think i’ve ever seen someone smile and wave at a stranger (a flirtatious action) in such a completely ingenuous way before. there was no coyness about it at all, but no modesty either, just a whole lot of friendliness: one can imagine julia just walking down the street smiling at every guy who looks at her in that way, and them falling over their own feet as a result! later that day i was sitting around just guarding the ice (the ice was for the medical crew. someone filched some of it, and concierge was promptly assigned to guard it. wonderful ruthann made sure people on ice-guarding duty got rotated frequently because basically all you did was sit there in front of a dumpster-size container full of ice.) and julia came flitting by (well, walking, but ‘flitting’ sort of suits her) with a piece of a brownie for me. ‘it’s good,’ she said, without preface, ‘i didn’t bite it, just broke off a piece for you.’ i was totally surprised and wondered if she just ran around giving everyone yummy things to eat. but she was right, it was very good, and i very much appreciated it.

barbara, julia’s constant companion (are they related?!), is another really neat person. she showed nona and me some samples of her artwork; she’s starting her own business with little inspirational cards and posters and things featuring uplifting sayings and her original watercolors. she’s a great artist, and as soon as her things start getting displays in hallmark i’m going to buy some! both julia and barbara are (like everyone else) incredibly generous and kind people, and i wish i had had more time to get to know them better.

jennifer and judy are daughter and mother, respectively, and they were a lot of fun to be with, too. most specifically, i remember laughing with them on the last day. we were in the line of crew and walkers who were cheering in the walkers as they came in, and this one absolutely horrible, odious woman was just standing in the middle of the way blocking our views of the walkers. ‘lisa,’ annie said, ‘you’re good at this kind of thing — why don’t you go tell that woman to get out of the way.’ i didn’t really want to, but i went anyway, because someone had to do something about her! well, she (the woman, not annie!) gave me this dirty look when i asked her to move, a very ‘did you just walk sixteen miles? did you train months for this? why should i listen to you, you lazy upstart crew person’ kind of look. she did move, because what else could she do, but before long she was back to her original view-blocking position. ugh, she was so frustrating! i was standing with michelle and linda as well as jennifer, judy and annie, and we were all talking among ourselves about that woman’s nerve. annie stops a pallotta employee (male) and asks him to ask her to move, and he does so, but she soon resumes her original spot. so, after another twenty minutes or so, judy and jennifer ask another crew member, professional-looking in her crew jacket and walkie-talkie, to go ask her to get out of the way. she does so, and the woman sends another dirty look at us! she does move, but naturally, in a little while she was back in her first annoying position — and now she starts stretching. not just any stretching. strange stretches that involve leaning over and sticking her rear out in our direction and moving it from side to side. we were so mad at her! it was really funny, though, at the same time, the things judy was saying about her. judy looks like a sweet lady, white-haired and a little stocky, but she was bashing that annoying creature just as much as the rest of us. it was great. michelle and linda and i remarked to each other that she was probably one of the ones who left the free avon shampoo in the showers even after we asked them to take it out.
i’m going to skip talking about cheryl right now because you’ll hear more about her when i talk about day three.

i was going to describe each of the days in detail but i don’t think i’m going to have the room to do that anymore. i’ll just touch over the main things that made an impression on me.

the food crew was amazing. at crew training two months ago i met a very nice person, julie, who is a berkeley graduate! she was on food crew and told me about it — people, food service crew is not the place to be if you get cranky easily. (i mean, heck, crew is not the place to be if you get cranky easily, but food service might be one of the worse crews.) the food crew has to be on duty, every day, at four-thirty (which means you might have taken your shower and gotten dressed before that), and gets off duty every night after they’ve served everyone dinner and cleaned up afterward… which might mean nine, or it might mean eleven, or it could even mean later than that. nevertheless, food service crew was the most cheerful group out of everyone! they smiled at everyone they served and asked every single one how their day was going. when i went through the dinner line on the first day, there weren’t that many people there yet so they had the luxury of being able to chat a little more while serving. they looked at my name tag. ‘hi lisa,’ they said, ‘how are you today? hungry, i bet! would you like some salad?’ ‘hi lisa! how about some spaghetti?’ when you’ve been working all day since early morning, that hot food is sssooooooooo good, and getting all those smiles and cheerful people along with it made it so much yummier. and in the late hours, esther (food service crew captain) would run around to the crew tents making sure all the crew had eaten. you’d think, when it got so late and so cold and they had just served huge long lines of hundreds of impatient people, they would want to get off duty as fast as possible, but no. ‘has everyone eaten? we can’t have people going without food in this kind of weather,’ esther said with genuine concern. amazing. food service was just amazing. absolutely appreciated.

[note, 4/10/14: Imported from my old blog at satsumabug.livejournal.com.]