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FORTY-THREE

The lines for water taxis are numerous and long but forewarned on departure we find Jax quickly and manage to squeeze on the second boat. “I wonder how closely they adhere to that maximum capacity sign?” I ask Jean as the captain reminds us where the PFDs are.

“You know how to swim, Tony,” she replies. “Just stay away from the propeller if we go down.”

“Wow!” I chuckle, “Now that’s reassuring!”

Crossing the Saint Johns we four discuss dinner plans and, after consulting Google, Sean and Jeans decide fancier fare is in order for the evening.

“So, Cowford Chophouse?” Sean asks as our taxi docks at Southbank.

“Yeah,” Jean replies. “Go early? I’m hungry.” Agreement reached, we give ourselves an hour to decompress and refresh and go to our separate accommodations on the Hampton Inn’s third floor.

Cowford is only a block beyond Fion MacCool but as three fourths of us are dressed more elegantly than the night before we opt to drive across the river rather than walk. Fishers, Indiana’s very own Paul and Mary are sitting at the bar in Cowford and Paul gives us a big wave from his seat. It takes me a second to recognize him. “Ah,” I say softly, “looks like it’s Mary Jane along with our Indiana boy with his Indiana nights.”

Paul approaches us and we chat about the game, everyone agreeing that the end was exciting and disappointing. “A shut-out for Luck,” Paul says, shaking his head. “Good to see you! I better get back to Mary,” he adds, nodding his goodbye.

Dinner, while expensive, is lovely and the day, while long, has been wonderful. Paul buys everyone a round of drinks, I tell the story of Jean getting a ticket for illegally entering Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park back in 1996 and we pile back into our Toyota for the short drive home. At the hotel Jean uses her room key to raise the parking lot’s gate, pulls forward and then backs into a coveted spot near the Hampton Inn’s side entrance. As we exit the car a thin, white-haired gentleman approaches us declaring, “Excuse me? I’m so sorry to bother you but I am in a pickle; could I have just a moment of your time?”