First VALL Dine-Around

by Michele Gernhardt
It was a cool crisp evening. My husband reported for baby-sitting duty at 6:45 p.m., which meant I could potentially arrive fashionably late to the inaugural dining out event at Bertucci’s in Short Pump. The highways were blessedly free of traffic jams, but I was quite overwhelmed by the changes to the Short Pump area since my last visit. The dark sky and glaring lights made it nearly impossible to see the street signs. I whooped in excited relief when I spotted the bright red lettering sported on Bertucci’s tower. Without that beacon in the night sky, I would have been even later than my not-so-fashionable 25 minutes. I was greeted by 5 colleagues and a guest. Evelyn Campbell jokingly indicated that as the latest arrival I would be responsible for the check, which would include several glasses of wine and mixed drinks.

The seven of us enjoyed great bread, good food and excellent company for a couple hours. We shared library-related news and also got to know each other a little better as the evening progressed. Fred Dingledy ’s guest, Victoria , the only non-librarian at the table, was the only one to answer a ready reference question during the meal (the location of the 2012 AALL Annual Meeting). It was wonderful reconnecting with colleagues and making some new acquaintances as well. I finally got to meet Greg Stoner , who happens to work just down the street from me. Somehow in the midst of busy reference shifts and deadlines, I hadn’t met him before.

We were all far too stuffed for dessert, but were quick to agree to another get-together in the near future. Terri Long and Lara Dresser recommended Tarrant’s Café in downtown Richmond ( We plan to pick an evening in March. If you’d like to attend, feel free to post your avoid dates, or e-mail them to

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