28 May 2015

A Holiday Weekend, and Two Thrilling Matches

Late last week saw much business at the car rental branch, as many customers were renting vehicles for the Memorial Day Weekend. We still had a few customers with vehicles needing repair from last month's hail storm. I worked last Saturday morning (23 May) at the branch, then went to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Town and Country, Missouri for the St. Louis County Greek Fest. This annual event featured Greek food, music, dance, and crafts, plus tours of the church. I have gone there in the past few years and enjoyed it each time. I had lunch--a souvlaki (shish-ke-bob) sandwich--under a tent set up on the parking lot, and later had galatobouriko and Greek coffee in a cafe inside the church. To keep informed about next year's event (Memorial Day Weekend 2016), check out their website: www.stlgreekfest.com.

Much of Sunday was spent at Worldwide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. In the late morning and early afternoon, I officiated three youth soccer games in a tournament. These were all small-sided (8-a-side) games with under 9 to under 11 teams. I ran lines on all three matches--I should have done one middle, but there was a mess up on assignments with the officials on these fields. At least I got these games in and a bit more money will come in.

After coming home to shower and change, I was back at the Soccer Park for Saint Louis FC's USL match against Louisville City FC. It was a thrilling match that was halted by lightning and heavy rain for about 60 minutes. The pause came in the 63rd minute, with Saint Louis up 2-1. After the break, the teams traded goals until it ended in a 3-3 draw. (The pitch was artificial, which came in handy this night!) Much of the crowd went home, but I waited in the car until word came that the match would resume and joined those who stayed around. Quite a match.

Prior to Saint Louis FC's match, some soccer veterans played a brief game that payed tribute to Paul Dueker, a former soccer player, official and fan who died last year. It was fun to see these guys try to show their stuff on the pitch. At halftime of the Saint Louis FC--Louisville City FC match, a portion of the grandstand--where my season ticket is located--was dedicated as the Paul Dueker Stand. A fitting tribute to "Duke," who I was so glad to have known before his sudden passing.

I just relaxed at home on Monday (25 May), the Memorial Day holiday. I did go to the workbench to work on a model for the upcoming IPMS/USA National Convention. It's part of IPMS/Gateway's group entry of UFOs. I should have this done within the next two weeks.

Back to work the next day, we had a busy day at the branch with returns from the holiday weekend and customers renting out for the week (including vacations). I cut out early that day, as I'm working this Saturday. (I traded Saturday shifts with a colleague who asked me to work this weekend.) After supper at home, I went to Tom Bogacki's home in south St. Louis for the monthly IPMS/Gateway business meeting. It was a brief one, but we got our meetings for June planned. More on our club here: ipms-gateway.com.

Yesterday, I worked a full day, which was not as hectic as Tuesday. Right after work, I drove to Worldwide Technology Soccer Park to cheer on Saint Louis FC. They were hosting Minnesota United FC, a NASL club, in the third round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. A large crowd saw the teams play to a 1-1 draw through extra time, sending this match to penalties. Saint Louis FC won the shootout 3-1 to advance to the fourth round on 16 June at Sporting Kansas City. Info here: www.saintlouisfc.com and www.ussoccer.com.

Tonight, I volunteer at opening night of Circus Flora's 2015 show, One Summer on Second Street. I'll be working three additional Thursdays in June on the show, helping with set up, ushering, and cleaning up. Looking forward to it. More on this circus here: circusflora.org. More on this show in my next post.