It was a bittersweet occasion. It was bitter because we knew it might be the last one. Even though management has been at the negotiation table, they were not bargaining in good faith. They are still trying to bust the unions.
Even though the unions had already made some steep concessions, management claimed it was not enough - I think that nothing would be enough for them - and called an impasse.
But it was also possibly the best night we ever had. Not only was the solidarity as strong as it's ever been, but we also had some VIPs lending their clout to the day.
The solidarity fish fry started even before we got there:
|Angie Aker, Ellen Monahan Holly, |
Gigi Molini, and Charlene Fell Staples
I knew it was a success when just our group alone took up two long tables:
Making up the group was some old friends that have been participating in the Solidarity Fish Fry all along.
|Linda and Hippy Rick Rumpel|
|Gary and Christine Ballewske|
|The wonderful and talented Kelley Albrecht,|
who will be ousting Robin Vos in the next election.
|Kimberly Wilke, Wendy Strout,|
Tanya Lohr, Lashell Drake
|Jasmine Gladney, Luz Sosa|
|Annie Wacker, Goddess of Labor and Vice-President of|
the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, with her arm candy,
|Kimberly Wilke, Lashell Drake (Class of 2012 and Board member), Kelley Albrecht (Class of 2013), Wendy Strout, Annie Wacker (Board member), Tanya Lohr (Class of 2012)|
|Phil Neuenfeldt - President, Wisconsin|
There was one other thing about the evening. To be more accurate, there was one thing missing from the evening.
Randy Bryce was absent.
People kept turning to me asking, "Where's Randy? Where's Pope Tartarsus? Where, oh where, is the Tsar of Tartar?"
I didn't have the heart to tell them the truth. I made up some silly story about Randy having a family obligation.
But my guilty conscience is bothering me and I must tell you why Randy missed tonight, possibly the last night for the Solidarity Fish Fry.
As the gentle eater is aware, last week, we were joined by Ed Fallone and Janet Protasiewicz. Despite my worries, Randy managed to be very well behaved through the evening, for the most part.
But Randy was pretty excited about meeting Fallone and Protasiewicz. He was also full of the Easter Spirit.
And then it happened near the end of the evening. Our distinguished guests had already left and we were about to do the same. In a moment of very bad timing, the buffet attendant suddenly came out with not one, but two large bowls of tartar sauce.
It was enough to send Randy over the edge.
He jumped up and yelled, " Solidarity - Tartar Style!"
He then grabbed both bowls and ran off and into the hallway.
I gave chase the best I could. But when I hit the hallway, what I saw caused me to yelp in terror and run back into the dining area:
I won't go into all the sordid details of what happened next.
But I will say that the good doctors at the Mrs. Paul's Tartar Sauce Detox and Rehab Center say that Randy is making good progress and might be released soon.
As to whether there will be a Week 27 next week, I don't know yet. It depends on how management responds. But it just might be time to let them know how much a drop off in business they would have without us. Or it might be time to take other actions.
Stay tuned and I'll tell you as soon as I know.