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Joanne Foote

Left to right: Mike Brode, Jay Doran, Bo Overstreet (partially hidden), Phil Aboussie, Ariston Awitan III. (Joanne Foote)

The Men's Group of St. Mark's Episcopal Church usually meets around the middle of the month, and for the 40 or 50 who gather in the parish hall on Barton Hills Drive, a good time is had by all. Mike Brode might serve as head chef (leading the Hitchman team) and Ross Ramsey as bier meister.

The tradition has gone on for many years. And it will continue. But the April 13 meeting will be "virtual."


Group leader Bill Kibler sent word recently that the meeting "will be held on April 13, as scheduled. You'll have to buy your own beer and make an order up of your own food, but conviviality will be assured by Father Zac (Koons), who will organize a Zoom meeting."

And so it is across Austin and the nation. Faith-based, fraternal, neighborhood, social and so many other gatherings—not just business meetings—are "Zoomed," with hosts emailing invitations and attendees clicking on links to see video boxes of others popping up on their screens.

The Zoom meetings are an opportunity, said Ramsey, in a recent tweet, to see what kind of ceiling fans your friends have. And also what kind of beer they're drinking. Not in the business meetings, though, please.

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