A Lovely December Afternoon with the Emperor, the Countess & 50 Friends of the Campaign
A big thanks to all who were able to join us yesterday for The Emperor's Bridge Campaign's holiday party a.k.a. The 2nd Annual Tannenbaum Toast.
On a lovely bright, cool day, about 30 folks gathered under the Christmas tree at Union Square Park, San Francisco, the tree being a holiday tradition that we are told — and we like to believe! — first was envisioned and called for by Emperor Norton.
Our own Emperor, played by Joseph Amster, offered a Proclamation for the occasion, and shortly led us on a procession to The House of Shields saloon, the site of our main festivities — but not before the stunningly red-sequined Countess Lola Montez treated us all to her fabulous rendition of "Christmas in San Francisco," made popular by Vic Damone and thoughtfully tweaked, on this occasion, with references to Emperor Norton and the Bay Bridge. (We already are thinking about how to make next year's procession an even more colorful and joyfully raucous piece of street theater. So, dig out your trombones, your clarinets, your accordions, your wood blocks and your tambourines — you may need them next December!)
Once at the bar, we began sipping Boothby cocktails, the official drink of the Toast, and over the next hour or so were joined by some 20 more friends. The formal raising of glasses was "primed" by a brief update from Campaign founder John Lumea about the progress of the past year and plans for the next — and was followed by a welcome reprise of "Christmas in San Francisco" that was even more fabulous the second time around.
Perhaps most gratifying was all the new faces — a humbling vote of confidence in The Emperor's Bridge Campaign's mission to remember Emperor Norton well and to advance the Emperor's legacy in a way that shines a light on him; that increases public understanding of the part of California that he called home; and that teaches us all a little something about ourselves.
A special thanks to those who were able to contribute financially to the Campaign's efforts. We hope to use your gifts in a way that amplifies your generosity.