Monday 26 October
Tonight was Erich Gruen's lecture in memory of our old Classics colleague Getzel Cohen. We shared many memories of Getzel with our guest and with the Cohen family, who had sponsored the lecture and a catered reception to be held in the Classics library afterwards.
Little did we know, as we heard about the lost Hellenistic historians who wrote about non-Greek populations, what was happening at the back of the room.
Our stalwart financial officer, Joe, had ordered the reception well in advance from UC's required in-house caterers, the so-called "Classic Fare." When there was still no sign of their staff setting up by the time they had promised, he called them, got no answer, called their director's cell phone, and found that they had totally forgotten our reception. (Note that we do not link their webpage. It probably wouldn't work any better than they do.)
But Joe did not panic. In the hour that the lecture went on, he lined up the library staff to assist him, made a dash to Kroger's to get wine, beer, glasses, plates, and even a corkscrew, then went to the local Chipotle (note link) and got a full catered spread of chicken, steak, barbacoa, rice, beans, guacamole, salsas, cheese, and tortillas, enough for the sixty or so people in attendance.
Thus, within ten minutes of the end of the lecture, we had a complete reception that the hosts and the department could be proud of, all thanks to Joe. In fact, the food was so abundant - and probably superior to what "Classic Fare" could have done - that we actually ate a full and rather tasty dinner and had some rather nice wine right in the Classics Library, a place where even bottled water is usually forbidden.
So thanks again to Joe, to Erich Gruen, and to the Cohen family - and a hearty "boo" to UC's unprofessional catering services.