About Our Group

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  Essay #1 by Charlie

We call ourselves PhDs.  Actually, none of us has a graduate degree.  Silly, isn't it.
We all first met at the medical device company, in the early 80s.   The group formed around playing hearts at lunchtime.  Three of us decided to do more than play cards & we began doing some hiking & biking on weekends.   The active core group was Tom, Bob & I.   My knees worked then, Tom had hair, Bob had some hair. (I still have mine, but neither of my original knees).
In the 90s we included Matt & Dave into the core group. Matt's a reformed smoker & running fanatic, although what used to qualify for running is now a slow jog. Dave is a skier & cold weather nut. Some others have come & gone, but as of today (2010), that's the PhDs. In fact, some of the core group are closer to the core than others – some have been fortunate to hold on to their affiliation since it is rare that they partake in the less comfortable adventures.

All five of us were married with kids; 4 of us still are.   The kids are grown up & gone, or if not, should be. Due to advancing decrepitude and a preference for more comfortable pursuits on the part of some of us, our so-called adventures are slowing down Three of us are retired and paradoxically find ourselves more busy than when we were in the working world. (This might say more about their level of activity when “working” than it does about how busy they are in retirement). We pull the wives & girlfriends along sometimes, but it's still primarily a men's group.
We don't beat our chests or have strange rituals, but that may develop over time.  There's a loose protocol of planning meetings, social gatherings, and occasional adventures.   We're friends & pick on each other regularly.   The picking is about manliness, or lack of.   Braggadocio rules the day.  The Annual Awards event is about unlimited presumed rancor.   We have a good time.

PhDs 1984; Charlie Bob Tom

Phds 2005; Dave Matt Tom