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.
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.
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.