There are few things valued as highly as friendship. True friendship takes years to cultivate, and a lifetime to understand and appreciate it’s true meaning. Friendship is essential to the soul, and The Quintessential 17 has always exemplified this creed while infecting others with this same spirit. This year’s retreat takes us deep into the wilderness of Georgia, Cleavland Georgia to be exact. It’s 0been years since some us had seen each other but it took us no time to get back in the swing of things. I didn’t realize how separated we are by time and space until I was on my home reflecting. And that’s the beauty and truth of it all. No matter how far we are from one another, or how much time has passed I know that my true friends will always be there to support, encourage, uplift, and if need be, check me.
But at this age, we tend to just enjoy each other’s company, just as we’ve always done and will continue to do. From the late night drinks with cigars, to the zip-lining and barbequing; even the sitting around not doing damn thing was
fun. Everything we did was awesome! My people always know how to have fun. The most mindbogglingly part about the experience was that the retreat only lasted a few hours technically. I’ll explain.
As I said earlier, this retreat took place in Cleavland…Jorja! D back behind part of the woods. I mean con-tree! As all of my out of town travels go, this one started with me waking up at 8 in the morning and leaving Charleston County at a little after 6pm. “No matter,” I thought, it was only a 4.5 hour drive, almost like driving to Atlanta. And Cleavland was only about two hours away from Atlanta. I stopped along the way of course to pick up last minute supplies. I saw a outdoor camping mega-store and had to stop. I thought about buying a rifle for projection and to hunt where it was legal, but after reviewing the $50 and $60 boxes of ammo, I felt a knife and some food from the grocery store would work better. Got a mini-emergency survival kit though. Just wish it came with a sword. But oh well.
It was about 10 when I made my way across the Georgia state line. Amazingly I has managed to end up on US Highway 17. When I got close to my destination it had been night for quite sometime. When I got off the interstate, was sure my drive would be ending soon and I would be enjoying the company of friends in the next few minutes. 45 minutes later, after missing my turn off three times, struggling with a phone that refused to charge in a car, and driving into some stranger’s driveway, I made it! Boy was I glad. It’s nice to be welcomed home by your brothers and their lovely ladies. We spent the rest of the night laughing and catching up. I got to meet a new sister-in-law and everyone got wasted.
The next F.A.M.U. morning (9:50am-12:29pm) we awoke ready for a day of adventure on the zip lines. After we realized (came back to reality) that a 10am zip-line tour would not happen decided to wake up the Q-17 way. This, of course, includes a hardy breakfast, drinks and a cigar! With stuffed bellies and bubbly disposition we were poised for our day on the lines. The ride over made me wish we had a driver to take all of us everywhere along with a camera crew and a stenographer. We had conversations about booty, the anti-Christ, the fucked up economy and the need for a new awakening. And this was just on the 15 minute drive.
Once we got there, we all took a moment to take in the natural beauty surrounding us. The zipline facility remind me more of a old country general store rather than a gateway to adventure. Our wonderful guides helped us get suited. There was a briefing on what to do and what not to do. Followed by a bumpy ride up a steep Georgia hill, in a vehicle designed for the military. The LB’s looked around at each other wondering who was gonna be the “go for it” guy. Anxiously we embarked on our adventure. We zipped our asses off for about 2 hours making friends with a peacock and a llama along the way. We gave the compound one last look and then made our way back to the compound for more liquor, but this time we had a grill to put food on. Somehow day turned into night and it was time for the murder mystery.
Our murder mystery night was set in the roaring twenties during the era of prohibition. I started off playing a double crossing goon, but later became the police. I’m not sure who told him, since it wasn’t written in the script, but all of Ed’s characters were from Ireland.
It was my first time and I really didn’t know what I was suppose to do accept ask questions and act piggy, but it was fun. Who knew that all my LB’s would end up dating these academy award winning broads. But then again, you have to be on some other shit to date any of those dudes. Hell anyone in my inner sanctum really.
The night ended with smores around a fire, some drinks, and some more laughs. We all wanted the night to last forever. But nothing does. The morning came quickly and after cleaning up, throwing a few back and procrastinating, we parted ways. They dispersed to Atlanta and Texas, and I to Charleston.
Those 32 hours were well spent. I left with both satisfaction and longing. But ultimately appreciation for the experience. Although I wished we could spend every weekend there I knew it couldn’t be. And maybe it’s better that way. So often we take for granted the great people around us and it isn’t until we’re separated that we reflect on the good times. Our time on this plane of existence is so brief when we consider the great panorama of the universe. I’m glad to have people around to help me enjoy it.