One of the best things about my job is the assignments that turn out to be a lot more fun than work.
Take my first venture into wine-making last week, for example.
It started innocently enough. I was just supposed to snap a few pictures of the grape crushing process and call it a night.
Five hours later, I was sticky, smelly and really tired of seeing grapes.
And I got off easy. The guys at 1810 spent more than 12 overnight hours crushing about 11,000 lbs. of grapes (not counting clean-up time).
But I think any of them (myself included) would do it again tomorrow.
Between the music drifting from the lone outside speaker, the awesome hamburgers and the laughter, it was less like work and more like a mini-block party for several hours.
(And, for the record, if Saturday night's concert and harvest celebration are anything like the crushing, it promises to be a lot of fun. Call the winery at 597-8311 or the Chamber of Commerce at 597-1000 for tickets. Events like this deserve the support of the community - especially if we expect them to continue.)
Meanwhile, Monday night's Katrina benefit at BGs in Harlem was another opportunity to have fun again, all in the name of work.
It was also a great chance to catch up with some of my cohorts from my Columbia County days. Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, Harlem Mayor Scott Dean, Harlem City Councilman Tom Blaylock, State Rep. Barry Fleming and State Sen. Jim Whitehead were all celebrity waiters during the Katrina benefit at the restaurant.
In four hours, the restaurant almost completely sold out of food - there were two pieces of chocolate cake and one piece of cheesecake left, but the steak, shrimp and fish were gone.
And that was far more than owner Cindy Greenwell ever expected, raising nearly $2,000 for Katrina victims.
"I think it went wonderfully well and the people around here are the most generous, giving people I've ever seen in my life," Mrs. Greenwell said.
For the record, my stint as a waiter wasn't too bad: I didn't break a single dish, mix-up an order or cause a customer to get up and leave. (I did spill a gallon or so of tea trying to refill glasses along the way, but that's just part of the job.)
Another thing that was great about BGs benefit was the number of Thomson folks who journeyed to Harlem for a good cause. Of course, Miriam, Granny and my parents were there. But so was Ben Young (along with his girlfriend, Tara, and her mom, Lisa), and Mike Wall and family.And the Thomson turnout in Harlem got me thinking: I'd love to see a similar event staged here in Thomson.
I'm always willing to spill a little tea for a good cause.