The Crystal Ball. It's Thursday, and I've finally have time to reflect on my whirlwind weekend activities, none of which involved traveling more than 3 miles from home. On Saturday night the HVGCC threw a BIG party - The Crystal Ball. The local business community became glitterati - bare-shouldered gowns and strappy heels in striking contrast to the single-digit temperatures outside.
This was my third year attending this event, held at the Mansion at Colonial Terrace. It's become a bit of a tradition for me to perform magic for the cocktail hour. I've been working to redeem myself since the first year. New in town, I misunderstood that year's event title - Winter Masquerade - and thought it was a costume ball. Yeah. Of course most people just thought my Renaissance moon & stars costume and painted face were just a very bold statement from the rather weird new magician lady. But I really hadn't planned to stick out that much.
I don't remember last year's theme, just that I dressed in a velvet long tuxedo coat, strolled around doing close-up magic, and felt much more comfortable. By that point I also knew a lot more people. Usually, when I'm hired for strolling magic, I don't know a soul and have to approach groups of people "cold." It's much easier and more fun with so many familiar faces in the crowd.
This year, since the event was called the Crystal Ball, organizers Deb Milone and Cathy Montaldo thought it would be fun to do something in keeping with the theme, so I did magical fortune telling. Bubbles became little "crystal balls" (clear marbles...) for guests to keep, and little piece of paper flashed with fire then had "spirit messages" written on them. This year I already knew the majority of the 200+ guests.
Since I'm a member of HVGCC, after the cocktail hour I just became an ordinary dinner guest. The awards ceremony was fun because I already knew (or knew of) all of the honorees - the Field Library, Croton Colonial Diner, Ann Brady and Kish Melwani.
As danced the night away on the crowded dance floor, I was struck by how many people I now know in Peekskill and how fond I've grown of so many of them. I stayed longer than I'd intended, and when I emerged into the icy, moonlit night, I thought about how connected this community is - and how lucky I am to be a part of it.
(You can see some of Howard Copeland's great photos of the Crystal Ball on the HVGCC Facebook page.)