All too many years ago, when I was an impressionable freshman struggling to adjust to the demands of college academics, I was told a story about one of my professors noted for his unconventional exams. According to the tale I heard, one of his tests in a previous year consisted of a one-word question, “Why?” A clever student, the story went, aced the exam with a cryptic two-word response, “Why not?” Being the naïve innocent I was at the time, I believed the story to be true. In my adulthood, after hearing others tell similar stories about other teachers at other schools, I realized it was all a myth—an urban legend in today’s parlance.
This memory returned recently when someone asked me why I liked to attend Aramco annuitant reunions so much. He said something to the effect, “One too many class reunions.” When I asked him when was the last time he attended an Aramco reunion himself, he answered sheepishly, “Never.” Hearing that, I did my best to convince him he ought to consider changing his hermit-like ways and join in the fun at the U.S. reunion planned for Austin, Texas later this year.
I’m not sure my arguments convinced him. I wonder if they’ll convince any doubters among you, our valued AXP readers. Let’s see if they will. In no particular order, here are my ten best reasons for attending an Aramco annuitant reunion:
- There’s no better way to reconnect with old Aramco friends, all in one place at one time on one penny.
- We all have memories we like to share and relive. Reunions offer a perfect opportunity to exchange and relive precious memories with others. Chances are, you’ll find yourself sharing like memories with your listeners, with whom you share a common history.
- Do you enjoy playing golf? Tennis? Or maybe bridge? And how about line-dancing, skeet shooting, bird-watching, hiking, or yoga? At an annuitant reunion, you’ll have ample opportunities to pursue activities like these with people you can easily relate to.
- Annuitant reunions are always held at interesting venues. In September of this year, for instance, Yankee annuitants will be converging on Austin, Texas, which bills itself as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” and in October, the Brits will be gathering in Bristol, England, rated as one of the Top-10 cities of the world by one well-respected travel publication. Case closed.
- Old friends are great. So are new friends, but they’re not always easy to find. Unless, that is, you’re attending an annuitant reunion. No matter how many scores of friendships you forged during your days in the Kingdom, there will be people at the reunion whom you’ve never met who are perfect candidates to become your newest BFFs. Good friends are one of life’s greatest treasures. Make yourself rich (richer?). Come to a reunion!
- Truly priceless as well are our children and grandchildren. Just think, how many pictures of your issue do you carry with you in your wallet or have stored on your smartphone? And how much do you enjoy sharing those images with others? Come to Austin or Bristol and wow the world with pics of the people you love the most. And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to regale your audience with tales of your offsprings’ latest accomplishments—on the playing field, in the classroom, on the stage, or wherever.
- They say that curiosity killed the cat. As a cat lover, I certainly hope not. Curiosity, inquisitiveness—these are good qualities for a person to have, and so many of my Aramco friends have them in spades. If you’re as curious about the world, about other people, about other places as most Aramcons I’ve known are, you owe it to yourself to indulge in your curiosity, sate your inquisitiveness. Come to a reunion and I guarantee you that something new and exciting will happen. If you’re curious to find out exactly what that might be, for the full effect you’ll have to be there in person, not read about it in our newsletter. So stop dilly-dallying and come.
- I have a friend who describes himself as “a slave to wanderlust.” And he’s not even an Aramcon, past or present. If you are or once were an Aramcon, it’s very likely you have a strong strain of wanderlust woven into your being. There’s only one cure I know of for my wanderlust, and that’s to go somewhere interesting and do something fun, somewhere like Austin or Bristol and something like listening to the music or hitting the links.
- Speaking of doing things, I’ve always been a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt, he of “Walk softly and carry a big stick” fame. TR was famous for his colorful quotes. My favorite is: “Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” What better place to do all that than at an Aramco annuitant reunion? Get action!
- Why not?