As my title suggests, they are not spies, at least not as their day jobs. They are also variously known as the twentysomethings and the Young Professionals, the latter being the preferred title these days since several of them are turning 30 this year. And not before time, either.
This is the gang we first met at South Plains, being as most of them were in the college group at the time. And so were we, by virtue of Chad being in college.
And so, to say good-bye to our longest (I started to type "oldest", but they aren't) friends at South Plains, we had a Saturday night bash complete with a white elephant gift exchange. Yep, those aren't just for Christmas; they work just fine for late-June parties involving a sincere desire to get rid of some stuff.
This party just happened to be on the same day that the US were eliminated from the World Cup, so there was a fair amount of
sorrow, weeping and gnashing of teeth at the beginning, followed by a lively discussion about who was now supporting whom with our collective top pick being out. (Since I support A.B.E., my team has since won.) (And I was going to link A.B.E. to something, but I can't say that I'm happy with the message of the pages I came across. Suffice it to say that A.B.E. = Anybody but England.)
So after much eating, talking and gift exchanging, I issued our one and only gift-exchange rule: whatever you got had to go at least as far as the dumpster.
We will miss them a lot, but I do take heart from one thing: Of all the people we must say good-bye to, these are the ones most likely to come visit.