Not long after graduation, I found out about the alumni association. Having just started my career and short on money, I wasn’t interested in financial support to a group that was associated with the higher learning institution that sucked the life out of my checking account. I was still up for a good time, though, and the alumni association had to have some great events.
I attended my first alumni event in St. Louis. As you know, I started my engineering career in St. Louis, working for Monsanto. I discovered the alumni association has branches of sorts all over the world. St. Louis was no exception. It didn’t take long for the alum’s to find me in St. Louis and send me an invitation to a football kickoff.
The bash was held at a swanky hotel in downtown St. Louis. With the football theme brought a few Oklahoma players and the head coach, Barry Switzer.
My college roommate, a dietician graduate, moved to St. Louis for an internship at an area hospital. We decided to take in the alumni event together. It was free so what the heck?
The hotel was fancy and the meeting room was decked out in tablecloths and free food and drink. They were expecting a big crowd and had about fifty rows of folding chairs set up. We sat in the back of the room but we could still hear Barry and the other folks bragging on the coming season.
After having our fill of food and drink, we sat listening to the coach, and were considering leaving when it happened.
A strange clattering and sound of stumbling preceded the ceiling tiles over the row of chairs in front of us breaking into pieces followed by a waiter’s foot and part of his leg. Only one, he didn’t fall all the way through. Then it snowed cocktail napkins, gently floating down into the room.
The leg retracted, the napkins were contained and our attempts to muffle laughter were in vain. We were so far back from the speaker’s podium that Barry kept on talking, oblivious to the circus we were watching.
It was good to know the St. Louis area had other grads from Oklahoma living and working there. It was also good to know even the swanky hotels were subject to Three Stooges-type antics.