Yes, I’m retiring, as of June 22, 2007; nineteen years on the job, thirty-eight years in the work force, and I’m moving on to other things. I’ll miss my fellow workers.

Retirement cake They got me a nice cake…

More cake more cake …

and flowers – roses, that even smell.

They look nice in my cube, too. Roses

I had two farewell lunches with two different groups. At the big one, a group I used to work with gave me their traditional retirement send-off gag gifts (fashionably wrapped in the Sunday funnies). The gags are not as outrageous as they were before certain joke shops in San Francisco closed down (no angel snot this time), but they included packages with the following labels:

  • Sweets to the sweet, containing 5 pounds of mixed nuts from Costco
  • You’re nuts, containing a pound of Godiva chocolates (THANKS!)
  • A loaf of bread, containing (surprise!) a loaf of sourdough bread
  • A jug of wine, with a bottle of Cheap White Wine (it said so on the label) – and finally,
  • This isn’t really “thou”, but something which might pique your interest in history and biography – a Marie Antoinette Action Figure, complete with removable wig and dress, and a sign instructing me to “Press button on back for Ejector Head Action”.

I said they were outrageous. At least they left off the canned pork brains in milk sauce, and the rubber chicken.

The second lunch was much smaller and confined to the stalwarts of the choral group I sang with for – my God, can it really have been sixteen years?? We started in 1989, rehearsing at lunch time, and only stopped in 2005. This was mostly just reminiscences, but I did get a little gift bag containing a certificate for a pound of See’s candy (I think I’ll save that…), a copy of the CD we ambitiously cut one year (I think there are still a couple of hundred copies lying around; I already had five); and a poem which the former president wrote himself. (He was the one who always faked up new words to music we knew, when we sang for birthday or retirement parties.) I cried.

I’ve deliberately never mentioned my employer on my web site; but I’m retired now, and I sang soprano with this group (and alto, and occasionally tenor; I even conducted a few times) for most of my tenure, so here, in memory of the Bank of America Singers, is the Ode to Karen Ivy, by James Maryatt. All these lines are references to songs we sang over the years:

From the “Geographical Fugue” to the “Carol of the Bells.”
Whose presence has announced “O Come, All Ye Faithful” through the years?
“How long since first we met? Has it been three days or four?
It seems like so much longer than a little weekend jag!”
“Come on and dance with me please,
Feel the rhythm of the song in your knees,
Promenading along at your ease,
Like a song in the air.”
And just who was Our Lady’s Maid?
“Hark, while the sweet soprano sings!”
“You are safe in our hearts and our hearts will go on and on…”
“Our Hearts Doth Beg You’ll Not Forget.”
We must now post our “Fum, Fum, Fum” and wish you the best of the rest.

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