(Bonnie M. Voigtlander)
Marty is a big fuzzy teddy bear!! He is just as sweet, as sharp-witted, and as unlikely to suffer fools gladly in person as he is on the net!
Brad is gentle, generous, kind, and loyal. He wouldn't allow Marty and me to bad-mouth anyone on words-l. He may have recently written kind words about me but clearly his love and loyalty are reserved for Marcia. He even has room in his generous soul for Nipper. Brad presented me with a crisp one dollar bill to become a charter member of the Nipper Fan Club!
Brad met Clyde and me at the Lexington-North Holiday Inn. I recognized him in the parking lot from his words-l gif. Brad generously treated us to lunch before he led us down to Versailles. We followed him through the loveliest horse country of Kentucky that I have ever seen. Horse farms were accented by lovely Southern mansions, stately driveways, and miles of white-washed fences.
At the Versailles train depot and museum we met our friends Tom and Holly Wissing. We were to all take the hour train ride together and then Clyde and I would head down to Pleasant Hill, KY to spend the night at Shakertown.
Having described Marty as looking like "a union organizer with ties to the mafia," Brad waited for us to pick him out of the small crowd waiting for the train. I only guessed correctly because this handsome, smiling, substantial man was walking directly towards us. A big bushy, greying beard set off intelligent, amused eyes -- the star, the hero, the articulate one: Nipper!!!
We all boarded the train and chatted away during a fairly boring train ride. Marty had pictures from Wordstock which he narrated. Natalie had an odd puzzled look on her face in the pictures, which Marty said was her typical pose. Mary Ann Dowd was wearing a patriotic hand sewn outfit. Fabio looked fabulous in cardboard cutout. Tushar is extremely handsome. Heather has brilliantly red hair.
The turn around point of the train ride was at an abandoned railroad bridge very high over the Kentucky river. We all disembarked to listen to the conductor tell us about this wonderful old bridge. After his boring lecture he asked if there were any questions. Brad poked me and told me to ask if there were ever any suicides from the bridge. I obligingly raised my hand and asked. The conductor mumbled something about any bridge attracts this unfortunate problem. Tom and Holly and Clyde and Marty all starting laughing at me!! They claimed I had put a pall on the entire train ride. But it was Brad's question!!
Brad and Marty and I chatted with great animation all the way back to the depot. The three of us along with Clyde then abandoned Tom and Holly and found a bar in Versailles where we sat and drank and chatted some more.
One might think that the list members of words-l are fond of hearing their own voices. Not true about Brad and Marty. They drew us out and listened contentedly to our rowing stories. Clyde explained the ins and outs of Olympic rowing and officiating.
We had a very nice time until Clyde and I had to leave and drive on down to Shakertown where I knew Holly would be waiting for me to join her on a 6 p.m. boat ride down the Kentucky river.
And yes, Marty, pleasure was maximized, and pain minimized, by me arriving in time to take Tom's boat ticket and allowing Tom and Clyde to down half of a fifth of Black Label Scotch in male bonding while Holly and I took a slow, scenic paddle boat ride on a rather nice stretch of the Kentucky river.
Thank you for a wonderful, enlightening face-to-face!