Where I’ve been hiding …

town and country hotelThe theme of our weekend trip to San Diego was food. Billie and I had a nice romantic dinner at Kelley’s Steakhouse on Thursday, dinner with my parents Friday, dinner with her parents Saturday, and big breakfasts Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I haven’t eaten that much food in a long time.

The primary purpose of the trip was to attend a new media conference at Paradise Point, but since the weekend coincided with Mothers’ Day, we wound up doing a lot of eating.

On Thursday we stayed at the Town and Country. We got to stay there because my company was paying. I chose the Town and Country because I’ve always thought it looked like a neat hotel, with its ranch-style courtyard rooms, ’60s chic styling and central location in Mission Valley. Besides, both Billie and I have known the hotel’s general manager for years. We got to know him as reporters for the San Diego Business Journal (when Billie took a leave of absence from the SDBJ, I took over her tourism beat).

So the first thing we did after we checked in was give Duke Sobek a call. It was good to talk to him. He’s a heck of a nice guy.

One thing I remembered about Duke was that he had a son who played baseball. Randy Sobek, like Jim Abbott, has the functional use of only one arm, but he’s a good athlete. Duke updated me on Randy’s collegiate career. He’s a sophomore at Whittier College, where he went 5-1 this year with a 2.57 ERA. Keep an eye on the LAT for a story about Randy.

Friday was also an eventful day highlighted by running into another person I haven’t talked to in a long while.

Near the end of our dinner with my parents and grandmother at the Brigantine, Billie leaned over to me and said, “I know the guy in that booth from somewhere, but I can’t place him.” Well, one glance, and I knew who it was. I fairly jumped out of my chair, “My God, it’s Doug Brunk!”

Doug and I went to college together. We were on the college paper together. We were part of a trio (with Keith Finley) who spoke to each other primarily in MASH dialog (“Soldier, I want you out of that dress tonight!” “Not for you or any other man alive.”) Later, Doug and I shared a shithole apartment on El Cajon Blvd. He was an usher in my wedding.

And my wedding is the last time I saw him. Shortly after that, he moved to New York, and by the time he moved back to San Diego, I was in Ventura, and we lost contact with each other.

So, now, we’re in contact again and vowing not to let another 10 years go by without getting together for a visit.

As for the new media conference, I picked up an award for our Lewis and Clark site (which I didn’t work on at all) and sat through one very good session on e-mail newsletters. I got to visit with some industry buddies and, of course, ate some damn good food (nice lunch, free sweets).

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