The guys and gals of court security had a retirement party for me tonight at a local favorite establishment. It was originally set for a month ago when I stopped working but was delayed due to schedules. Just a fun, low-key get-together with a bunch of great friends, some of whom I've known since the freshman year of high school. One of the most touching things was that, although he couldn't be there, one of our local criminal defense attorneys made a contribution for drinks and sent his congratulations. We've known each other since my first rotation through courts in 1991. This is a guy who is an absolute top-flight defense lawyer, often handles federal cases, wins, and is at the same time one of the most decent, down-to-earth, honest people you'll ever meet. It was humbling and truly means something special that he'd do that. A couple judges were there, too - the judge for whom I was bailiff for the last year and another judge/former DA who he and I go back to the beginnings of our careers together. Folks, long ago I learned that most judges are just regular people like the rest of us. It was a very happy, special evening. Can't wait to see everyone again...I will be sure to stay in touch with these special friends.