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Awakenings Chapter 7: Collisions, Page 14

Derek quickly went back to his highest level of alertness.  “I will call Langley right away.  DM, what do you think?”

DeMario had been sitting in a folding chair watching the monitors.  “No problem, I can be over there in a few minutes.  I will need to change my clothes to fit in better.  I know something about this wine festival.  You should know that there will likely be some people there who will know me.”

Derek did not show any more emotion.  “So much the better for your cover for people who don’t know you.  You will look like you fit in.”


Joe and Elise had everything set up, including the Gambaro Winery Banner just in time for the opening of the gates to the Jack London Square Wine Festival.  People had been lining up for almost a half-hour at the ticket booth, where they were able to immediately buy tickets, and at the entrance gate, where they had to wait for the official opening.  When the clock stood at 4:00 PM, the ticket takers started taking tickets and handing out wine glasses engraved with the wine event logo.

The first patrons through the gate made a mad dash for the Berkeley Culinary Institute Cooking School gourmet food counters, to make sure that they could fill up some of the small paper plates before the onrush.  There was a broad mix of people.  From twenty somethings to sixty somethings, there was quite a range of ages present.  From fit to the not-so-fit, almost every body type imaginable was here to taste award winning wines.  Sure enough, the temperatures were warm, and the widely varying degrees of modesty and bare skin on many of the women were sure to please Joe’s acquaintance Philippe.

Elise stood with Joe behind the table of wine bottles.  A poster board with pictures of the winery sat on the table along with several bottles of wine.  Their gold medal and best of class plaques stood on the table resting on stands.  Elise placed vases of flowers and doilies to dress up their table.

Soon, guests were lining up at the tables to obtain tasting pours of the wines.  Joe quickly spotted a familiar face.  “Well good afternoon Roger, hi Denise.  I see that you have the kids in tow.  Did you take the train from Sacramento?”  Denise was Roger’s wife.  “Glad to see that you could make it.”

Roger reached out and shook Joe’s hand.  “I love these wine festivals.  It is such a great way to taste so many wines.  Plus, the food is always so great.”  Roger smiled as he looked down at his children.  “The kids really love riding the train.  The views as it passes down the Carquinez Straight are pretty cool.”

Denise swirled some of the Old Vines Zinfandel in her glass before checking the nose.  “The weather is outstanding.  I really am not used to being on the Oakland waterfront in shorts and a halter-top.”

Elise had walked around the table to give Denise a hug. “Did you sign up for some of the cooking demonstrations?  Some of the best chefs in the Bay Area are here today.”  About that time a Celtic-Bluegrass fusion band started playing on the nearby stage, interrupting the conversation.