Some folks might think Asheville, NC, snuggled up against the Appalachian mountains, is best known for “The Biltmore House“, America’s first castle...Not true!
Asheville, NC is really famous for the many Chapter XXXIII meetings held there in the Spring time. We come from near and far to add luster to the landscape and money to the economy. On this special weekend in April, our group of brothers (and friends) gather at the Days Inn Asheville Mall on Tunnel Road to celebrate another gathering of camaraderie, story-telling and the modest sipping of the spirits of beer, wine and cognac.
Just another normal, enjoyable quarterly gathering of the men and women of Chapter XXXIII.
Friday arrived like a lion. The Light and Sound show, accompanied by torrential downpours and strong winds, started early and stayed late. To make matters worse, the temperature, which according to the Weather Channel was supposed to be in the mid-60’s, hovered only in the high 50’s. Those hardy souls who arrived on Thursday, so they could get the jump on the rest of the folks at the malls and stores in town, spent Friday walking and shopping in the rain and cold.
Friday evening, most of the members adjourned to a German restaurant near the Asheville Airport. The rest of us, tired from a day of shopping in the rain and cold, retired to our rooms for a quick 40-winks before the main body of troops returned from their supper.
The rest of Friday evening was spent in the “Team Room”, doing what we do best---sitting around the tables, telling stories of times long past and the modest sipping of the spirits of beer, wine and cognac. Sometime, in the wee, wee hours of the morning, the last of the die-hards closed the doors to the “Team Room” and stumbled, staggered or crawled to their rooms for a few hours of well deserved sleep.
Saturday arrived early (maybe even before some of the troops had retired). Friday’s “Lion” became Saturday’s “Lamb”. Ole Man, Sun, was out in all his glory and the mercury in the thermometers was rising rapidly towards the mid-60 mark. Many of the group meandered, staggered or maybe even floated into the breakfast area for the complementary breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, SOS, and waffles...and yes, Coffee. Many gathered at the coffee pot trying to chase the cobwebs from their foggy brains.
The men departed for the “Team Room” to discuss worldly events and how to solve all the problems of the country...and there are plenty. The ladies, not wishing to mix politics with shopping, gathered in the hotel lobby to decide which mall or store to hit first. Those ladies that had arrived on Thursday already knew where they were going to go and had left earlier.
President Sid Morgan slammed the gavel down on the table at 1400 hours sharp. The business meeting for Chapter XXXIII Spring meeting was brought to order. There were 30 members and 6 guests at the meeting. Another great turnout for the chapter. Have we set a precedent?
The major discussion at this meeting was the upcoming election for chapter officers. Jim Hash, the Teller Committee Chairperson (PC you know) mentioned something has happened in this election that has never happened before—two members were throwing their hats in the ring for the offices of President and Vice President. This is a first in our 33-year history. There was one member each for the Secretary and Treasurer.
Those “Hats” in the ring are:
Bill Long, Art McRae
Bob Bever, Jim Godwin
Sid explained how the voting would be conducted.
The voter will have the opportunity to vote “YES” or “NO” for those positions which have one name on the ballot (Secretary, Treasurer). If the “NO” choice receives more votes than the “YES” choice for a position, that position will remain vacant and the new President will nominate a member for that position. All positions must be marked. Any unmarked position will not be counted.
The Secretary will mail each member in good standing a ballot. The ballot must be returned to the Secretary, care of the Teller Committee Chairman, by the October meeting. The voter can fill out the ballot and mail it to the Secretary; the voter can carry the ballot to the October meeting and give it to the Secretary or fill out a ballot at the October meeting and give it to the Secretary.
Each candidate on the ballot may elect one member of the chapter to act in his stead on the Teller Committee when the ballots are counted. The candidate themselves and the current chapter officers are not eligible to act in this position.
The new officers will be installed at the October meeting.
Jim Godwin, Chairman of Scholarship Committee, informed the chapter there were five names submitted for scholarships. These names must be presented to the chapter at the Summer meeting. Three names will be chosen at that time. Each candidate chosen will receive $1,000.00.
Glenn Dyke, Chapter 34 and representing National, briefed the chapter on what is happening “Around The Flag Pole” at National.
Amendment to SFA Constitution: National has received only 150 ballots for the Amendment. Glen said 930 ballots must be received to make the election legal. All SFA members in good standing received the “DROP”. The ballot for this amendment was in that magazine. This is a rather abysmal response by the Association which proclaims to be part of “The Quiet Professional”. It appears most members of this Association have taken the “Quiet” part quite literally.
Sid had a number of blank ballots and envelopes available for any member who had not yet voted, but wished to vote. The member placed his ballot in the envelope provided, sealed the envelope and wrote his name along the seal. The ballot was then given to Glenn to take back to National. Chapter XXXIII had just added 30 votes to that 150. Just another way to show the SFA why Chapter XXXIII has such a high percentage of voters.
A new concept will be initiated in July. All official meetings conducted by National will be done via Telecommunication. Any SFA member, who wishes, can contact Cliff Newman to get the phone number and password and then dial in and participate in the meeting. This new concept will also allow any member in any chapter in the world to run for SFA National office. There is no longer a requirement for the officers to physically meet in Fayetteville, NC.
The 2014 Convention will be held in South Carolina and hosted by Chapter 34. National would like each chapter to select any special event that occurred within their chapter and present that event at the 2014 convention. Glenn suggested Chapter XXXIII present the “Court Martial of Smokey Taylor“. If you remember correctly, this “Court Martial” garnered nationwide notoriety.
Stan Shank briefed the Chapter on the bear hunt in Alaska, the update to the Memorial Building grounds and the raffle.
Bob Cherest updated the chapter on the past and present Det “A” activities. Last year they met in Myrtle Beach, SC. The number of SF’ers attending that gathering has increased each year.
And so ended another chapter meeting in beautiful downtown Asheville, North Carolina. There is no information about the Summer meeting at the moment. I will publish any information about that meeting on our chapter web site Bulletin Board (use the “Back Arror” on the BB to return to this page).
I've added a few photos taken at our meeting.
See you at the Summer Meeting where ever that may be.
Copyright © 1994 Chapter XXXIII SFA. All rights Reserved.
Chapter XXXIII, SFA, The Larry Alan Thorne Special Forces Memorial Chapter
Spring Meeting was created 26 April 2013