Saturday, October 11, 2014

Auld Lang Syne

My old radio and TV station, WTOP and WTOP-TV in Washington, DC held it's annual reunion luncheon in Thurmont Maryland this week. It was the 27th year that those of us who worked there in the 1940's, '50's and 60's have gathered in the little town about an hour north of Washington where Camp David, the Presidential retreat, is located. The fact a lot of the station's engineers spent many hours there is one reason that location was chosen for our luncheons.

They had discovered something that very few people other than all our Presidents since Roosevelt knew. It wasn't a state secret, but you have to have visited Thurmont Maryland to have discovered it.

The secret was: The Cozy Inn!

Thurmont, MD

The real reason Thurmont was chosen had nothing to do with the fact that Winston Churchill once had President Roosevelt stop his limousine so he could go into the Cozy and see that new fangled invention called the Juke Box.

Why we chose the Cozy had nothing to do with the Jukebox of course, but the FOOD!

I think the Cozy has been such a secret all these years is
because you have to have a reason to go to Thurmont, and
frankly, there's not a whole lot there to see.

"Let's visit Thurmont on our vacation next year!" number three on my list of "things that have never been said."

Number two is, "Yes Dear, I think your butt looks fat in that dress."

For lunch, the Cozy featured one great big buffet which in my opinion featured everything anyone could ever want and was as delicious as anything any one's mother and grandmother together could possibly have concocted!  And they never let us down, year after year, for 26 years.

Now admittedly my mind may be in a slightly altered state when inhaling cool clean mountain air in the presence of old friends talking about our brilliant accomplishments when we were young and beautiful. They say that everyone who falls "in love" is a little bit insane, at least for the first few months. I think the same thing can be said about "reunions."

So forgive me if I'm a little "over the top" as I write this.

But this was the 27th anniversary of our annual event, and unfortunately the Cozy had closed it's doors forever earlier this year. The Restaurant was founded in 1929 and upon the original owner's death the son took over and carried on the tradition. But his kids weren't interested in jumping through hoops the State of Maryland would put them through to meet some new never ending standards and requirements. So, they closed it down earlier this year.

Chalk up one more victory for the bureaucrats.  One more loss for everybody else.

We held our meeting at another nearby eatery. But it wasn't the same.

Last of the WTOP Thurmont Luncheon Group

Undoubtedly, for our little group that had once numbered 100 or more Dear Souls every year, there was a certain poetic symmetry.

Only 18 of us showed up.

 So, we voted to close down too.


A few of WTOP's famous alumni: John Charles Daly,  
Walter Cronkite, Eric Severied, Roger Mudd, Arthur Godfrey, Sam Donaldson, Bill Diehl