30 June 2016

Soccer, Pride, Circus, and Great Heat

Despite temperatures reaching 100 degrees F (38 degrees C) and heat indices reaching 110 degrees F (43 degrees C), the show went on at Circus Flora (http://circusflora.org/) one week ago tonight (23 June). At least the tent was air conditioned, which was a blessing for performers, staff, volunteers, and spectators alike. Another good crowd for a Thursday night, as I was an usher near the band area.

I gave it my best effort at the car rental branch late last week. That included working on Saturday morning (25 June). Fortunately, it was a light Saturday for us, so I didn't feel as rushed as I normally am on those days. A good thing with the high heat and humidity.

Home after work, I rested, then drove to Smugala's Pizza Pub in Sunset Hills (http://smugalas.com/smugalassunsethills). There, I caught the Pub2Park shuttle bus for World Wide Technology Soccer Park in Fenton for the Saint Louis FC (http://saintlouisfc.com/landing/index) match against Portland Timbers FC 2. I joined with the St. Louligans (http://stlouligans.com/) in cheering on the home side, including a cute one just before kickoff that trolled the visitors. Spoofing a scene from the TV series "Portlandia," we held up paper signs showing a cat with a soccer ball while chanting "Please, Please Win! Meow, Meow, Meow!" That was a nice bit of fun. Even more fun was Saint Louis FC winning the match 1-0, thanks to a second half penalty kick.

The next morning, I drove into downtown St. Louis to walk in the annual St. Louis PrideFest Parade (http://www.pridestl.org). This parade was part of the 37th annual festival, which celebrates the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, and Transgendered (LBGT) community in Metro St. Louis. I joined with some 400 other Enterprise Holdings (https://www.enterpriseholdings.com/en/index.html) employees in walking in the parade, which included a stake bed truck from Enterprise Truck Rental (https://www.enterprisetrucks.com/truckrental/en_US.html) and three cars from Enterprise Car Sales (http://www.enterprisecarsales.com/). One of them was Amanda, who I worked with earlier in my career before she transferred to an administrative capacity in the organization. After waiting about two hours in the assembly area in Peabody Plaza, our group stepped off onto Market Street for the approximately 1 mile (0.6 km) parade west towards Union Station. We were warmly received by the attendees lining the street.

Participating in this parade, I thought of a high school classmate and a college classmate, both of whom are gay (though I didn't know it when I was in school with them) and how I was doing my own small part to let them know they are fine with me. I was proud to represent such a company in this event, no pun intended. Right after the parade, I got lunch and browsed the information booths near Soldier's Memorial for awhile before gong back to my car to go home.

After a brief rest at home, I headed to Circus Flora for the annual volunteer dinner that followed the 5:30 pm show. The volunteers assembled in the seating area for a group photograph, when we entered the ring for a buffet dinner with fried chicken. I sat with two other volunteers and a ring crew member, chatting between bites of dinner, and one of those volunteers was a driver for Enterprise, so we were able to compared notes on our respective jobs. I also chatted with the circus' musical director and the drummer, letting them know how much I enjoy the music during the show and telling how my brother Brian drummed some years ago for the Big Apple Circus in New York let me better appreciate Circus Flora's music.

Back to work Monday morning (27 June), it was among the busiest of Mondays for us, probably due to customers wanting to get a head start on renting before the Independence Day weekend. We got though the day fine, though, and the past two days were good as well.

Tuesday night right after work, I drove to Mark Carroll's house in St. Peters for the IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) business meeting. We planned the July general and business meetings, and discussed other club business and other things. Carroll then showed us his extensive model railroad layout and his scale modeling workshop.

Helping out at Circus Flora one more time tonight. Their show "Pastime" ends this Sunday. Catch it if you can.


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