Neighbor-to-Neighbor Gala

Gala, certainly describes last night’s event! Over 600 people in attendance, lots of art and fire photographs up for silent auction, and a chance to meet part-timers from our coast, people from the peninsula, and see some old faces — well, they are getting older, but I really meant familiar faces.

The evening started with cocktails and hors dourves upstairs, with a chance to mingle. Doris and I were speaking outside. We had been joined by a firefighter from CV. Doris points out some smoke from a fire, not too far away. After Doris leaves, the firefighter’s husband joins us. He is a fire marshall. The wife points out the smoke, and hubby replies, “Oh, that is fog.” He leaves to get his wife a drink, and the page comes in, they are sending 3 CV engines to the “fog.” I ask her if she is going to tell her husband he was wrong. “Oh, I’d never do that!” (Maybe that is why she is still married, and I’m divorced?) Anyway, when he returns with the drinks, she just shows him the call-out call on her cell phone. I watched the eyes of the man, as he was proved wrong. She just didn’t tell him.

We were seated for dinner at assigned tables. I did not know anyone, although one couple knew me. When they found out I was “bigsurkate” they both were very flowing with their compliments. They were away from the area when the fire struck, and so had only the internet. Along with that great site, xuanantoday, they relied on my blog. Nice to know I was helpful.

For me, the early entertainment was too loud for the conversations we were all trying to have in a large room with 600 people. Don’t get me wrong, the Afro-Latin fusion was great. The entry of the drums to start the program was quintessential Big Sur. No question. But it was too loud for too long. The hit of the evening was a multi-media presentation of interviews with Sula Nichols and others, Kodiak Greenwoods photography set to music — “I won’t back down” — brought tears to my eyes. The visual effect was exquisite.

Of course, our local fire brigade were all honored on stage, and received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Everything about the evening was really a class act, from the napkins (I fell in love with them) to the food and wine pairings, which was excellent.

I left just before dessert was served, shortly after 9 pm. Long drive home. It was a very successful fund-raiser and a wonderful tribute to our community — near and far.