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Left to right, in rising diagonals, most of the Motor City Kossacks in attendance at the first meet-up, Sat. 11/17/12: myrealname, ICanDoThis, Unit Zero; mideedah, Mr. ICanDoThis; surelyujest, Ooooh, Eclectablog; NewDawnFades, Brainwrap; DoReMI, fusionkaster; jennifree2bme, The Dave; peregrine kate, ProvokingMeaning
Left to right, in rising diagonals, most of the Motor City Kossacks in attendance at the first meet-up, Sat. 11/17/12: myrealname, ICanDoThis, Unit Zero; mideedah, Mr. ICanDoThis; surelyujest, Ooooh, Eclectablog; NewDawnFades, Brainwrap; DoReMI, fusionkaster; jennifree2bme, The Dave; peregrine kate, ProvokingMeaning
Photographs don't quite speak for themselves, but I hope that you can tell from these wonderful photos (primarily taken by surelyujest and scenna (aka Mrs. Eclectablog), with a few by me) which you'll see after the jump that we had a marvelous time last Saturday night at Sophia's in Farmington Hills.

The setting was conducive to conversation; the food was tasty and reasonably priced; the waitstaff were attentive and accurate. But the company was best of all.

Throughout the evening, surelyujest was quick with her camera, and we also pressed the talented scenna into service. As engaging as these photos are, however, they only capture part of our enjoyment in being together, most of us (apart from the married couples, anyway) meeting there for the first time.

In the * New Day * diary which featured figbash's report on the 11/17 gathering of Chicago Kossacks, figbash asked me if this meet-up wasn't even more fun than I had dreamed it would be. I had to say no, not entirely, because my NN12 experience taught me that getting together with Kossacks in real life is fabulous. I'm not sure what other motives navajo might have to encourage our meet-ups around the country besides encouraging us to have fun--which by itself is sufficient. But getting together in meat space like this in our localities may lead to organizing synergy that we can't yet anticipate. Already, I think we found it is especially gratifying to meet other Kossacks in the local area, so that we can begin to solidify the connections among us. Once we get firmly established, look out MI GOP! My thanks go to navajo for her steady and enthusiastic support during the early days of this process.

Apart from my thank-yous to surelyujest and scenna for their great photos, I also want to thank GwenM for the restaurant suggestion, which worked very well indeed. While I'm at it, I need to apologize for the inadvertent error I made in posting the restaurant's address. Brainwrap caught it Saturday afternoon, and I sent out as many notices as I could, but unfortunately not everyone got word in a timely manner. I am grateful that most did figure it out, and very sorry that not everyone did. Next time, I promise better quality control on important details like that.

Come to think of it, I should also mention that next time we are likely to meet is on Inauguration Day, Sunday, January 20th, 2013. Doesn't that sound like a great idea, for the Motor City Kossacks to watch the ceremony together? We'll be looking for a suitable facility with at least one large TV for our viewing pleasure. Here the "we" means surelyujest and I, since she has graciously offered to take on the major coordinating responsibility for the next meet-up.

Between now and then, we'll figure out the best means for intra-group communication. Please do feel free to continue to spread the word to all the SE MI Kossacks you might know as well.

A couple of people who attended weren't part of any of the photos, either the smaller groups or the large group shot. But despite the absence of evidence of your presence on Saturday, we were glad to have you. Brainwrap junior was probably everyone's favorite, not only his parents'; he was a charming and very well-behaved young person.

I am confident that this meet-up will be the first of many, given the enthusiastic response to this one. I look forward to seeing more and more Motor City Kossacks at each and every meet-up. And now for the photos! After the jump.

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PhishRapper had another, higher-priority commitment so he couldn't stay, but I am sure that we'll have an opportunity to talk with him in person again.

surelyujest and PhishRapper at Motor City Kossacks meet-up Sat. 11/17/12
surelyujest and PhishRapper
The restaurant had a little enclosed area that was a good size for us. We were fortunate in being the only ones to request this little space after all. Somehow it was clear to everyone who the Kossacks were when we arrived, even before the nametags.
scenna and Eclectablog at Motor City Kossacks meet-up Sat. 11/17/12
scenna and Eclectablog
It was invigorating for us to have a chance to make the connection between the online presence we each have and the real human beings we are, in all domains. We talked about politics, but about plenty of other interesting topics, too.
scenna, Eclectablog, and surelyujest
The restaurant had planned for us to be in three table groups of eight people each, but it wasn't long after people started arriving that we requested a change to one long table. Important for us to feel the links, no?
jennifree2bme, Unit Zero, The Dave at the Motor City Kossacks meet-up, Sat. 11/17/12
jennifree2bme, Unit Zero, The Dave
The spouses who accompanied Kossacks were certainly not only along for the ride. Here's one.
mideedah, ICanDoThis, Mr. ICanDoThis
mideedah, ICanDoThis, Mr. ICanDoThis
I also appreciate the sentiments on fusionkaster's T-shirt.
fusionkaster and BFSkinner at the Motor City Kossacks meet-up, Sat 11/17/12
fusionkaster and BFSkinner
NewDawnFades brought a really special "show and tell" to share with us.
NewDawnFades with her White House holiday reception invitation, at Motor City Kossacks meet-up Sat. 11/17/12
NewDawnFades with her White House holiday reception invitation
As surelyujest adds in a comment below:
We all applauded NewDawnFades for the great and well deserved opportunity to visit the White House, and carefully passed around her invitation (carefully, as in, trying very hard not to drop it in our food), and asked her to share lots and lots of pics of the event so we can enjoy it vicariously.  Great job NDF!
Another happy Kossack with his spouse (child otherwise occupied).
Brainwrap and Mrs. Brainwrap at Motor City Kossacks meet-up Sdat. 11/17/12
Brainwrap and Mrs. Brainwrap in the spotlight
Sometimes the juxtaposition of our names was serendipitous.
DoReMI and Ooooh at the table of the Motor City Kossacks meet-up on Sat. 11/17/12
DoReMI and Ooooh at the table
My orange scarf inspired me to step forward for posterity more than I otherwise might.
surelyujest and peregrine kate at Motor City Kossacks meet-up on Sat. 11/17/12
surelyujest and peregrine kate
Ooooh and peregrine kate at Motor City Kossacks meet-up on Sat. 11/17/12
Ooooh and peregrine kate
To close the photo gallery, here are a couple of shots of some of the delicious menu items we chose.
Greek salad with chicken, a menu option at the Motor City Kossacks meet-up Sat. 11/17/12
Greek salad with chicken
Melina's Eggplant, a menu option at the Motor City Kossacks meet-up on Sat. 11/17/12
"Melina's Eggplant" at Sophia's Restaurant in Farmington Hills
While I have your attention, Motor City Kossacks, let me acknowledge that I am behind my self-imposed deadline for getting our communications squared away. I want to make sure that everyone is OK with the information they've shared with the group before I make everyone an Editor and therefore a recipient of all the group messages sent to this point and from this point forward. I hope that I can accomplish that task in the next couple of days, and then we'll really be able to be in the loop with each other more effectively. Thanks for your understanding and patience.
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