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On March 19, 2020, I and three other members of the above somewhat imaginary but mostly actual society were scheduled to leave on our yearly 11-day sans-spouses trip to unusual destinations. We were to visit Zagreb, Croatia; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Graz, Austria; and Vienna. It was a go, right up to the moment it wasn’t.
The Society was the product of a simpler time (2014) when I had the notion that we might be able to improve our situation through the application of civility. To quote from the original brochure, “The Occidental Croquet and Touring Society will be involved in what is best described as splendid adventure travel, more Ernest Hemingway than Ernest Shackleton. Tours of museums and battlefields in the company of academic experts, docent-led distillery and winery outings, travel by train, ship, and air, and drinks at the dankest pubs and finest hotel bars. The one thing there will not be is beaches (Omaha, Juno and Sword excepted).”