In March 2016, residents of Unit 8A gathered at the Bistro for their first monthly happy hour. Those attending never imagined that they were starting a streak that would still be going seven years later, through heat, cold, high winds, monsoons, snow, and even COVID.
On Feb. 17, 40 Unit 8A residents celebrated seven years of happy hours with “An Evening of Mystery and Magic” in the Sol Ballroom. Invitations stated there would be three entertainment venues throughout the ballroom, but details of the evening were otherwise shrouded in mystery.
As they arrived, guests were assigned to one of five time slots for the first venue and surprise of the evening, a show by Steve Ehlers, magician and card trick expert. As guests rotated to the card table, Steve treated each group to a different set of card tricks, plus a few magic tricks with eggs, black bags, and chains. Laughter was plentiful, guests were stumped, and all agreed Steve was highly entertaining and skilled.
At the second venue, a guessing game table, four Mason jars were filled with balloons, peanuts, puzzle pieces, or gold coins. Guests guessed the number in each jar, without going over, to win a coveted prize. The game table was decked out for the evening’s theme with a box covered in giant playing cards of the number “7,” a black magic hat with bunny popping out, and a balloon arrangement featuring an over-sized No. 7 gold balloon.
The third venue, on the ballroom stage, featured a slideshow of pictures from years one through three of happy hours and Unit activities. After enjoying the three venues, guests posed for the annual group picture.
More mysteries were to come. Karl Knight, Unit 8A resident musician, singer, and guitarist, humorously introduced a song he wrote in honor of the evening at the event committee’s request. The fun song was about Puff the Magic Golf Cart who, of course, lives and plays in Unit 8A. While Karl played his guitar, Sherry and Steve Weiss and Madoka Knight expertly sang the lyrics on stage, all to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Guests were provided with the words and roundly joined in. Karl, who can now add musical producer and director, followed “Puff” with a thoughtful toast to Unit 8A.
Judie Townsend, Leonard Schenkel, Kate Thomsen, and Curt Kamada won the contents of the jars plus movie tickets, a Dairy Queen gift card, nuts, or the remaining puzzle pieces. Kathy Nedder won the door prize of a beach towel with a Unit 8A embroidered logo. The bunny from the magic hat, now homeless, was awarded to Bob Townsend who promptly gifted it to a Unit 8A grandmother for her grandchild.
Hostesses for the event were Denise Doepke, Lani Warren, Sherry Weiss, and Janelle Authur. On to year eight!