Holiday Party

Text and photos by Dave Pratt

Christmas in July? Not quite, but the temperature did climb up well over 60 degrees on December 12th, the day of our annual AONE Holiday Party. Besides providing good travel conditions for everyone, it meant that we had several Alfa Romeos parked in front of the Josiah Smith Tavern!

Two of the Alfas were particularly notable: First, Phil & Mary Kotsios brought their stunning red Alfa 4C, and garnered the place of honor right in front. And Peter Walker & Meg Anderson arrived in their '77 Spider … with the top down — a first in Holiday Party annals! Honorable Mentions go to George Dolak who also brought a Spider and Greg & Andrea Stidsen who brought their '94 164Q. Be sure to check out the photos of them all. There was actually more tire-kicking outside at our Holiday Party than there was at our Spring Kickoff Meeting earlier this year, when it was cold and snowing!

Once the forty of us were inside, we were welcomed by the congenial Tastings Caterers wait staff, who wandered among us offering their delectable hors d'oeuvres. We all cracked open the various beverages we'd brought and proceeded to enjoy the food, drink and each other's company. There was a table set up with even more offerings in the appetizer vein for our enjoyment.

Also welcoming us were a free-running slide presentation displaying photos from all of our AONE events of the past year, accompanied by some jazzy holiday background music, prepared for us by President Tom Lesko. Also displayed on the big screen were some racing videos provided by AONE member / vintage racer Roger Cassin. Roger had an outstanding 2015 season, grabbing several checkered flags and winning the Gold Helmet award at the Vintage Racing National Championship.

Soon, the main course was announced and we all eagerly queued up, since most of us could remember what excellent cuisine our caterer provides from previous years. And we weren't disappointed, as they once again came through with some truly outstanding fare. The forty diners were seated around five tables of eight persons each and, judging by the level of loud chatter and boisterous laughter, it was easy to tell what a great time everyone was having.

After dinner, the revelers were forced, errr, encouraged to participate in our traditional holiday sing-along. Everyone was given a copy of our Official AONE Holiday Songbook containing popular holiday tunes, with lyrics corrupted to make them Alfa-centric. There were several new ones this year, honoring the actual availability of Alfa Romeos again at U.S. dealers, and a nod to the wonderful gathering of Alfas on Federal Hill at our National Convention in June.

Finally, it came — the moment everyone was waiting for — the start of the Yankee gift swap! It's always such a hoot, and this year's was no exception. There was a wide assortment of diverse gifts … with one exception: there were seven bottles of Limoncello! Besides that, a lot of nice bottles of wine traded hands, as well as many other neat gifts, including scarfs, plants, car care products … and a Hillary Nutcracker. If you look through the photos, you'll get the idea.

In case you ever doubted the existence of Alfa gods, consider this: Phil & Mary Kotsios, who graced us by bringing their new Alfa 4C and parking it in front, drew the two very best possible Yankee swap numbers from the hat: #1 and #40. 'Nuff said.

When the swap was over, people milled around for a while and eventually started donning their light Spring jackets and drifting out the door. Except for Ki Basel, who found a jacket that resembled hers but wasn't! If you went home with a Patagonia jacket that isn't yours, please contact the Webmaster and he'll put you in touch with Ki, so you can arrange one final Yankee swap.

Our thanks go once again to Tom Lesko for making all the arrangements for our revered annual Holiday Party. Great food, great venue, great people, great time!Tiny Quadrifoglio

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Holiday Party