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The Diving Equipment Manufacturer's Association (DEMA) annual show was held in early November in New Orleans, where many old hands reminisced about those halcyon days before Hurricane Katrina in 2004 when the show was held there biannually.
Alas, the city is not quite the same. Of course, endless restaurants serve fabulous food, but an air of insecurity hung over Bourbon Street, where a couple of DEMA attendees got mugged during their evening outings.
Despite that, PADI, Deeper Blue, and TDI/SDI managed riotous and over-subscribed parties at venues in the street. The TDI/SDI party was meant to be more of a wake for its recently departed founder, Bret Gilliam. (It could be said the event was not as dignified as Bret deserved, but our old, dear departed friend would have approved nevertheless.) Jonathon Edwards, a country and folk singer/songwriter (Sunshine, a 1971 hit) and Bret's long-time friend played in his honor, but few could appreciate Edward's unique performance over the raucous noise of others having a good time....
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