Leaving for New York City
And so on August 7th I got on a plane for my first trip to New York City. I even got to bring my girlfriend Mona. Upon landing we took a taxi to the Helmsley Palace. It was an elegant hotel in midtown Manhattan overlooking Central Park. Traveling on company business was pretty cool.
It was late afternoon and I called Howard to let him know I arrived. “Let’s meet for breakfast, then we’ll take a cab to the courthouse together” he said. Thankfully he never made me feel like it was a big deal, so I never got nervous over the situation.
At breakfast, Howard explained the day ahead. To this day I remember his calm, confident demeanor. It was a beautiful sunny day and we took a scenic ride to the courtroom, passing by the NYSE along the way. The courthouse was a massive old building with a long flight of stairs leading to a row of giant columns. Upon entering the courtroom, I was introduced to John Kirby, a trademark attorney teaming with Nintendo in the case. I tested both games and made sure the controls worked fine before taking my seat.
We all stood as Judge Robert W. Sweet entered the courtroom and then took our seats. I had never seen the inside of a real courtroom until that day. There was no “Court TV” back then, only “Perry Mason.” I wish I understood all the legal speak so that I could have better appreciated the legal artistry on display that day. Instead I just waited for my time to perform.
It’s Game Time
When called upon I was introduced as a Nintendo employee and game expert who would demonstrate Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. to the court. Judge Sweet came down from the bench to watch. And so I pressed the start button on Donkey Kong. He watched from over my shoulder as I worked my way to the top of the steel girders, avoiding Donkey Kong’s rolling barrels. I breezed through each of the four stages without a hitch, demonstrating the games variety and comic appeal. The Judge looked on smiling. Then I moved on to Donkey Kong Jr. and did the same. Judge Sweet was satisfied and had seen enough.
I accomplished what was asked and completed it flawlessly. My part was done and I felt relieved. I was allowed to leave the courtroom and so I headed back to the hotel. “How did it go?” Mona asked. Full of questions I tried giving her a recap. In many ways it was a blur.
We spent an extra day in the city sightseeing. We saw the original off-Broadway production of Dream Girls (absolutely fantastic), rode a Hansom cab through Central Park and dined at Tavern on the Green. It was a wonderful and memorable few days.
End of Part 2 of 3. Next: The Judge Rules
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