I enjoy meeting newcomers at NMA reunions. We're all shipmates, even if we've never met before. If you're coming to your first reunion, you might not understand this, but when we're all saying goodbye after the last tune, you'll get it.
Off course, it's good to meet up with old friends, too. I've heard tell that Bing Walden is coming to the reunion next week. I'm happy to welcome him to the growing number of reunion-going, story-telling members of the NMA.
After all, Der Bingle welcomed me to Newport in the early '80s. He talked me into playing with a civilian Monday-night big band that gigged around southern New England. Good guys, good fun, good music.
On the other hand, Bing also introduced me to jai alai. I spent the rest of my tour in Newport watching, a game in which Portuguese guys whack a ball around while Americans throw their money away..