While cleaning out my cup cabinet this morning, I found one of my treasured possessions. Why would an old YMCA cup be considered a treasure? Maybe not to anyone else, but I spent some of my most wonderful life moments in the 70’s working at the YMCA in northern California. I was the office manager and had the privilege of getting to know so many wonderful people … program directors, volunteers, special needs adults and children, people that got to do community service in lieu of going to jail (sometimes that was a wee bit scary), and the best executive director one could ever hope to report to . We provided “camperships” to low income kids who couldn’t afford to go to summer camp. We had Y-Indian Maidens, a program for mothers and daughters, and Y-Indian Guides, a program for fathers and sons. We had Y-Trailblazers for older kids who wanted to explore nature and live the life of a mountaineer for a week. There were so many excellent programs and everyone pitched in more than 100% to make them the best experience possible.
Our office was a converted 1905 house. It was a pretty cool place, actually, but with one hitch. There was only one bathroom and the plumbing was really, really old. So, with the nine staffers there on a daily basis and many more volunteers coming and going, the inevitable happened. The toilet broke one day and was no longer usable. That meant we had to walk across the street to the Lincoln-Mercury dealership and use their facilities. I’ll spare any and all details of those adventures. Just picture having to walk through a showroom with several car salesman standing around, knowing exactly why we were there. It was ugly.
Three months later (don’t ask) we finally had a new toilet. Everyone was so excited that we all squeezed into that tiny bathroom and raised our glasses of champagne to toast the new china bowl. I wish now someone had videotaped that. So here’s my cup of YMCA memories. I’ll keep it forever. And whenever I hear that song by the Village People, I smile … really big! (In case you’re curious, I still know how to do the YMCA dance). Namaste’