Well, this was my first forum party, so it will definitely be my first recap...
I showed at about 6:30 and there were at least a dozen there already. I was greeted warmly and Peck immediately asked me the first topic of conversation; when did I become a Pacer fan, what made me a diehard fan, and what my favorite moment as Pacer fan was. I answered and the spotlight moved to everyone else in turn. I have to say, that was a great way to start (if you guys had just started when I got there) a forum party. It was fantastic to hear everyone's stories and get a feel for how long each person has been a Pacers fan...
We had good pizza and good conversation as quite a few others trickled in after me and we ended up a crowd of 24 or 25, with standing room only...It was great to get to put faces to alot of the familiar names here at PD and definitely worth the drive down for a rare opportunity to get to meet PD's gracious host, able. I wouldn't have thought someone from so far away could have the same passion (or more) than the rest of us right here in Indy's backyard. Able definitely takes the cake as farthest traveled for this one!
We spent a great amount of time getting around the room asking for opinions on the Stephen Jackson/Al Harrington trade...I thought Peck said 45 minutes, but it probably ended being over an hour...There were definitely compelling arguments made in all forms and from all sides of this trade, and I have to say that I could see everyone's point of view with a good amount of respect, and that I felt at the time that it was odd to agree with so many opposing sides at the same time. The talk was very friendly and very lively at the same time, and the evening was well moderated by Peck, as I've read he has a habit of doing. You certainly added to the experience Peck, so hats off to you!
We talked about Carlisle, and whether we wanted him gone, or wanted players gone...Once again, everyone made good points to back up their opinions. I thought that we covered most every angle possible in what is a complicated question to answer.
It was getting toward the 9:30pm closing time for Pizza King, so we kind or wrapped it up with a more informal questioning of whether JO was the problem or the solution, and we kind of broke down into the transition period of getting organized for the group photo, props to the waitress for finally getting everyone's attention by the way; and the saying-goodbye and figuring out who was going to Perkins time period...
I had ordered a large pizza to go around 9:10, so I gathered my pizza up and cruised for home as everyone who was still hanging on was talking and getting organized for the trip to Perkins outside...I don't have a Pizza King in Huntington, the closest ones are Wabash (20 miles) and Ft. Wayne as I learned last night from Ragnar (20 miles or so also)....That is the only reason I took one to go after snacking on Pizza King all evening too!
All in all, a very nice party and a warm welcome from a great group of people. The stragglers that showed up later than I were afforded the same welcome, and joined right in the group and conversation. Anyone who hasn't made it around for one, it will be worth your multi-hour drive (no excuses for you people in Indy who haven't made it to one!) even if you deprive yourself of the experience of Perkins' pie along with a little more engaging conversation. In retrospect I would've loved to have stayed for more, but I needed to get my tired butt home after a long week that merely culminated with a trip and late night to Indy on Thursday and on Friday...My apologies, and I will definitely be in it for longer the next time a party is held!!
I didn't take my camera, but there were several people who had them, so I hope to see some pictures, including the group shots, soon. Able had a nice camera also, and took many pictures...Alas, he has to make it back home to England, and his camera was 35mm, not digital...We need to make the push now to convince him to scan and post what he did take. I'm sure they will be good!
Great party, and thanks go to everyone who attended, including Jose for doing a great job of getting us the reservation and taking care of the menu, the collection of funds, and the bill. You made the evening painless for the rest of us!
The attendance list as I saw it is below, and I may be wrong on a couple; I got several real world names, and alot of PD nicks...
Doug in OH
Mr. & Mrs. RWB? (great story about Cheryl Miller, btw!!)
Mr. & Mrs. hoopsforlife
Believe in Blue
I know there was at least one more person, maybe two...
We need to have another one of these before the season ends or right after!!