Guy’s Night out With Old Friends

L to R: Clyde, Harry and Gary

There’s nothing better than getting together with old friends. Now that I’m back in San Diego for a short visit my old (guy) banking buddies decided to host a barbecue in my honor complete with: food, drink and cigars. Wayne generously offered up his backyard in Chula Vista for the get-together (a venue used in the past for similar events and poker games). His tolerant wife, Tina, wisely absented herself from the gathering, probably in a bid for survival and self-preservation.


I’ve known most of these men for over 20-years and some for almost 30-years. We have been through thick & thin together—the good and the bad. I entered into banking in 1984 after spending years in the military, sales and sales management. For the next (almost) 30-years I worked closely with these guys—they covered my back and I covered theirs. My banking career was tumultuous, partly because of my personality (confrontational) and partly because of the upheaval in the financial industry.


In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was the Savings & Loan crisis. I was working for HomeFed Bank at the time, first on the corporate side and later on the retail banking side. I met Mark, Gary, Harry and Wayne at HomeFed. HomeFed Bank was eventually taken over by Great Western Savings where I met Jeff and Clyde who have both become great friends. Later still Great Western Savings was acquired by Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) headquartered in Seattle.


Eventually WaMu was acquired by JPMorgan Chase Bank (a dark day in our banking history). Some of us found the Chase experience to be a horrible experience and we eventually moved on to other banks or retirement. Note: Chase if you’re monitoring my social media don’t hold my feelings against any friends I might have still working for you. You are BASTARDS and you know it and I wouldn’t put it past you to lash out at my buddies still in your employ. DON’T FUCKING DO IT.

L to R: Clyde, Harry, Gary and Wayne

The evening with my friends was GREAT and lasted over five hours (it started at 3 p.m. and went on until about 8:30 p.m.). Wayne and Clyde served up smoked ribs and sausage with a real “bite” (nice and spicy seasoning), Clyde provided the beans & ham and some pasta showed up from somewhere. Jeff furnished the cupcakes (both vanilla and chocolate). Drinks ran the gamut from Scotch to Gin, including beer and some 100 Proof real Moonshine from Kalifornia Distilleries.

Shawn and Joel

A few of us (Clyde, Joel, Shawn and me) consumed some cigars along the way—but mostly we just talked and LAUGHED. We laughed a lot. And we remembered. We remembered the bad times but mostly we remembered the good times. After 5-years there was a lot of catching up to do; I wanted updates on their lives and they were interested in our travels. I did learn that we’re not party animals any longer, we drank in moderation and broke up the shindig way before midnight. Thanks for a wonderful time my friends. 

Stephen F. Dennstedt

12 responses to “Guy’s Night out With Old Friends

  1. Sounds like a wonderful evening with “The Boyz”. I too enjoy time with my current girlfriends here in my area and to have the opportunity to spend time with special friends from afar is absolutely fantastic. Continue to make memories “back home” and I ‘m sure these memories will travel to your next destination.

  2. Glad you can spend such glorious times with old friends and cigars….I too share your point of view about WaMu to Chase but from a consumers point of view. I had to change banks. They’re to big to see their own feet, I doubt your friends will experience repercussions. ~~dru~~

  3. So, happy we all made this happen. I really had a great time. Excellent food, conversation and even enjoyed the white lightning. What an adventure you are on my friend, I can’t wait to see where you’re off to next…I like the whiskey idea. Hopefully we do this again before you leave the states.

  4. This was a fun post to read, but when I clicked on the title I was hoping to hear anecdotes from the past 30 years or snippets of your conversations. . . I’m sure it would’ve been very entertaining!

    • It was a lot of fun for sure. Looking back, our time in banking wasn’t all bad. I hope we can do a repeat get-together before we leave again to further our travels. 🙂

  5. Looks like a good time. I have two friends from high school that I meet up with at least once a year and it is like we go back in time except we talk about our ailments instead of about the girls.

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