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.

Howard in NYCThe Big Day

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.

Judge Robert W. SweetWe 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

NYCourtHouse1When 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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