So, 23 men walked into a bar and decided to form the American Institute of Mining Engineers – so quipped Congressman Matt Cartwright at the in-person first event of the now American Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum Engineers’ sesquicentennial celebration. While I’m sure those 23 individuals, preoccupied with other aspects of their life, never even thought about the state of their fledging organization in the future, they created a framework that resulted in what is today, 150 years later, four member societies coalesced around their parent, AIME. An energized group within AIME did several years of planning in advance of the celebratory 150th year, a milestone few organizations achieve, only to find the sudden appearance of COVID-19 in March 2020 and lingering restrictions throughout 2021 impacting those best laid plans. Despite that, and in the spirit of miners everywhere, we still found occasion to assemble and toast. While presentation of honors and awards took place during virtual events via recordings such as at the MINEXCHANGE SME 2021 Annual Conference and virtual or hybrid events for the other member societies, this column is about those crucial in-person opportunities that highlight the personal connections of AIME and our profession.