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~~ March 3, 2006 ~~  Arno retires from the National Weather Service

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~~ March 3, 2006 ~~
After 35 years of federal service, I have decided to turn in my crystal ball and pursue a life of leisure.  The St. Louis Office responded with a great party at the Trailhead Brewing Co. in historic St. Charles.  The bash was attended by colleagues from the local office, the Central Illinois Office, Denver, Hastings NE, Paducah KY and Kansas City.  Aside from local soccer friends and family, we also had other retirees in the group.  The prize for the person that traveled further than anyone else goes to my brother-in-law Mike.  He came all the way from California. 

It was a great party followed by a brunch for the out-of-town guests the next morning. 

My last day at work
Here we are at the office on my last day.  The party at the office was a total surprise, organized by Maureen, our Administrative Assistant.  I noticed something fishy when I saw Barbara (my boss' wife) come into the building carrying a goodie bag. 
Maureen is feeling pretty good about this.  Neil is only there because he heard there was cake to be had. 
Arno demonstrating the very latest in data storage equipment.  The office was going to take my NWS issued flash drive when I retired, so Neil fixed me up with this handy storage device.  (You have to be a computer geek to appreciate this)
The cake!
I get the first piece but Neil is getting ready to pounce.
Jon and Eric looking on.  I'm going to miss my colleagues at this office.  What a great bunch!
The party at the Trailhead Brewing Company
Steve Thomas, the Meteorologist in Charge of the St. Louis office presenting me with the official commemorative retirement plaque.
There it is!
It was time to poke a little fun at my career in the NWS.  Here Brandon presents me with a safety manual that will help me stay injury free in my retirement. Both the Lincoln office and the St. Louis office presented slide shows poking fun at me.
Some of the attendees.  Here is Cherie with my brother-in-law, Mike.  Mike came all the way from California to visit and attend the retirement functions.  Mike is also semi-retired.
Here I am with the cutest chic at the party.  Cherie is concerned that I will drive her crazy being at home all the time.  She is planning an escape to Paris this spring.
Steve and Barbara.  Steve was my boss here in St. Louis.  Even though he is no longer my boss, he and Barbara will continue to be good friends of ours. 
Ernie, my former boss in Central Illinois.  That's James ducking down to avoid having his pictures taken.  It's tough being in the Witness Protection Program. 
Our very good friends from Columbia, MO, Wayne and Donna.  Thanks for making the trip, guys!
Also from the Lincoln office!  Chris and Patty, friends and former co-worker. 
It's good to have friends.  From front left, Betty (also a retiree), Marla from Nebraska (way too young to retire), Jim (fellow soccer player), Vince (former colleague and retiree), and Steve from our Regional HQ office.
Tom and Mike.  Tom (left) is from our Regional office in KC and Mike hails from Paducah, KY.
Melissa (from our office) and her girl Kate, and Pilar and Rachel from the Kentucky office. 
Back to the head table with Mike, Summer and Arnie.
Co-workers and their spouses from the St. Louis office.  The hand with the Bud Lite belongs to Neil.  Sorry about that Neil!  I did manage to include the better half of that duo. 
I have to apologize for the quality of some of these pictures.  Some of the family members gathered here are Carla, Ariel, Kent, Jessica, Taryn, Matthew and McKennah.
Some of those that have tread this path before me and one close to taking the step.
Vince and Karl have my friend the Bratwurst in tears.  Karl will be taking over the Data Acquisition duties at the St. Louis Office.  Good luck, Karl.
The conversation was more somber at this table.  Here Fred is giving a discourse on recent heavy precipitation events.  I'm praying for you Mary!
Brunch at our house the next day
Marla and Cherie in the kitchen
Arno wearing one of his gifts
My friend Byron from Boulder, CO enjoying the fellowship of Mike and Arnie.  It seems that most everybody wanted to hang out in the kitchen.
Betty and Marla hanging out in the dining room.
Mike pointing out some things of interest on the PC with his technical assistant, Summer at the controls.
While everyone else is watching the PC demonstration, Jennifer helps herself to some nourishment.
Here is some of the loot spread out on the dining room table.  It was a totally unnecessary gesture, but still very sweet.  Some of it is useful, some of it is sentimental, some of it is fun, but it all serves to remind me of all those wonderful people that came out to see me off into retirement.  Thank you all!