The young valet adjusted his bow tie while he stared into the dark night. He stood underneath the awning and watched the rain fall on the asphalt of the parking lot until a polished black stretch limousine pulled up in front of the yellow marble steps. The valet jumped up and over a puddle to open the car door and escort the guests up the steps.
El Caribe Country Club, on the southern edge of Brooklyn, was festively lit with what seemed to be millions of tiny Christmas lights that reflected gently on the valet’s big black umbrella. The formally dressed men and women did not even seem to notice the rain as they marveled at the decorations and entered the building.
Inside, a team of smiling organizers took everyone’s coats and handed out table numbers and a program for the evening; cocktails at seven, dinner at nine, speeches at ten and dancing at eleven.
At least 400 people came out to NYC Department of Sanitation Columbia Association’s 43rd annual dinner dance that night to enjoy the abundant free drinks and different kinds of Italian delicacies.
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