As I mentioned previously, I joined a new group through meetup.com that I was excited about due to the variety of events they do. I also mentioned that I had met the organizer of that group once before at a night hike back in March, but had not seen him at any hikes since then. He has a co-organizer for the group and several assistants who post events to the calendar, and he is not at all of them. The first event I went to for this group he was not at.
I had signed up to volunteer for the membership drive for Oregon Public Broadcasting, an event he was the organizer for. He is mostly focusing on the group's volunteer endeavours. I don't actually listen to OPB, but I thought this sounded like fun. I have kind of always wanted to do a telethon-type event. There are a few other volunteer events he is organizing, but I decided to see how this went before signing up for those.
When I pulled into the parking lot, he was the only one there. (I was early). He came up to my car before I even got out of it with a smile and said that he didn't put it together when I signed up for the group and asked if I remembered meeting him on the night hike. The hike where I felt it was necessary to tell a complete stranger all about James and the night he died. Yep, I remember that. He asked if I knew it was him when I signed up for the group and I said that I had a pretty good idea it was. (He has a very distinctive nose). He seemed glad I joined the group and I felt relieved by that.
He ended up sitting at the table right behind me and we were able to chitchat a little between "breaks." It seems backwards, but our breaks were during the radio programs, and when the programs went to break, we went to work. That is when the announcer came on with the details on the membership drive and the pledge calls starting coming in. It was kind of funny-we had to let our phones ring twice so they could be heard ringing on air. I only had one weird call: a lady from Astoria wanted to know why they were able to get OPB on the coast now when they had never been able to get it in the past. (A new transmitter was opened up a year or so ago).
He asked if I was still doing the hiking group and said he had gone to one other hike but left before it started because there were too many people there. I told him that I had done a few but realized my limitations were about 5 miles and an elevation gain of about 400 feet. He said he remembered that I was getting over being sick the night we met and that my husband had just ... he let it trail off, which I was grateful for as we both had another person at our tables. I said, "yeah, he's still..." and I followed it up with "But it has been almost 2 years now and I am doing much better." And then his phone rang. It seemed like every time I turned around to talk to him, his phone rang, so eventually, I stopped trying.
I had been nervous about running into him again. Would he be uncomfortable around me? I am happy that did not seem to be the case. In fact, he tried to recruit me into being an assistant organizer so I can try to set something up at Schoolhouse Supplies and I agreed to talk to Volunteer Guy about it on Wednesday. And, when I got home, I went ahead and signed up for the other volunteer events on the calendar. They are only open to a set number of people and they look like fun. I would really hate to miss out on that!