For more than a dozen years, regular readers of this blog have been privy to an annual New Year's Day tradition for the extended Band of Brothers and Sisters known collectively as the E Streeters - the Soup Run. The E Streeters moniker, with a nod Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band, dates back to the name of the 1980s recreational basketball and volleyball teams that brought us together in our high school and college years. We adopted the E Streeters group name for wedding (and bachelor party) gatherings, and in the ensuing years, brought our spouses, children, co-workers, and newfound friends into the fold, so that we now number in the thousands. Maybe millions, who knows anymore?
There's several events that bring us together, but on the calendar, the first one up is always the New Year's Day Soup Run. It's an annual gathering that lends itself to several traditions - logging the first few miles of running in a New Year, breaking bread around some killer bowls of soup, but most importantly, a gathering of friends and family to close out one year and mark the voyage into a New Year together, as friends who are still healthy and able to gather and enjoy good memories together.
These are folks who've been together and shared experiences, in some cases, for nearly half a century.
Alas, the last two years have dealt all of us a hand none of us expected to experience in our lifetimes - a global pandemic that has changed the way we gather, change how we can interact, and in the cases of this tradition, how we can enjoy a bowl of soup together.
On top of that, this year saw several members of our Merry Band of Brothers unable to join us for the annual outing - traveling abroad, locked into family events in other regions, or sidelined with injuries.
Most significantly, the usual Founders of the Feast - John and Karen - were sunning themselves in warmer climes, so it was time for Plan B.
Enter Scott, the usual provider of Top 10 Chili at the Run the Rivah race.