I believe this is the 4th or 5th time Sid and Beth Morgan volunteered to host our Winter meeting in the beautiful Tennessee Smokey Mountains. Our town: Gatlinburg, – our hotel: the Park Vista – the weather: Partly cloudy, rain Saturday evening and Sunday. The red line in the weather gauge would hover around 57-60 degrees during the day. We didn’t venture out at night so no one was too concerned with the night readings.
For those folks who decided to come in on Thursday had a great day Friday for hitting The Island and Tangier Malls further north along highway 441. Those who decided to arrive on Friday could only sign in, toss their kit bag in their rooms and head for the Chapter Hospitality room.
The Team Housek, AKA Hospitality room, opened it’s doors at 1700 hours and it was soon loaded with members meandering in and out. Some had brought their liquid nourishments while others partook in the best of those liquid nourishments. Sid Morgan produced a bottle of very good Irish Whiskey and made the mistake of placing the bottle on the table for all to see. It didn’t take long for the contents of the bottle to reach the half full (or half empty, depending on your point of view) mark. Jack Tobin also pulled a good bottle of bourbon from his pocket and was immediately pounced upon by Harry Matthews.
Somewhere around 1900 hours, the crowd thinned to a mere 4-5 die hard’s who would rather drink good Irish Whiskey and bourbon than eat. Some of the absent members did make a rather short appearance after dinner, but by and large, the 4-5 die hard’s were the only ones still standing at 2300 hours.
Saturday morning was cloudy and windy. There was an early-morning chill, but it would soon disappear as the sun spread it’s rays over Gatlinburg. During the night, I believe the Park Vista filled every room on all 15 floors. I don't know where they came from, but the restaurant was filled with all makes and sizes of men, women and children.
As is the norm for our Saturday gatherings, the ladies controlled the lobby, chatting and arguing where to start their day of shopping. The decisions made, they fled the scene for parts unknown to the men and wouldn't return until later in the day or until the check books were empty or the credit cards filled to the limit.
As for the men, they gathered in the hospitality room to partake of the liquid refreshments left from the night before.
Sid and Beth laid out the fixin’s for lunch and, at noon, announced the mess hall was open. Those who remained back from the shopping spree, or those who depleted their money belts, filled their plates with chips, sandwiches and German Chocolate cake.
We barely reached the number of members present for a quorum so there was a business meeting. President Bob Smith, called the group to order at 1300 hours. Bob gave the chapter an update on Barbara Bever’s condition. Barb and Gina are home, but Stephanie is still hospitalized. Barb may have a memorial service for Bob in March. The chapter will be notified the date, place and time.
Bill Phipps volunteered to fill the VP position, which was vacated when Bob Smith moved to the President slot. Bill will be seated during the summer or fall meeting.
Our Secretary, Sid Morgan, announced he is resigning from that position effective at the end of this meeting. The president asked for a volunteer to fill that slot and Mitch Greene raised his hand. Sid did bring up the problem of keeping 20-30 years of records. Many, in fact most, of the records were no longer valid and Sid was in the process of destroying them. Jack Tobin gave the chapter the requirements from National for keeping records and the time frame to keep them.
As is the tradition at the Park Vista , Sid and Beth set up the catered dinner for Saturday night. At 1800 all members were seated at the tables, waiting to walk through the chow line for salads, chicken, ribs, beans and, of course, apple cobbler. Naturally there was more food then there were stomachs to fill so some of the more hardy guests made their way back to the line for 2nds.
Our Auctioneer, Stan Shank, along with his able assistant, Harry Matthews, kicked off the auction for the evening. Items flew from the table as Stan wheeled and dealed, squeezing every penny available from the audience. He must have done a great job because when all the smoke cleared, the Scholarship Fund was $1,300 richer.
Sunday morning was overcast, windy, and cold. It was a time for good-byes and, for some, the long drive home. It was a great meeting and Sid and Beth Morgan, are to be congratulated for all the time and effort they gave in putting this get-together on. Thanks, Sid! Thanks, Beth! Take a well deserved rest. The next meeting, or get-together, will at the National Convention in San Antonio, Texas and then Knoxville in October.
Ron Bruce will host the Fall meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee in October. He will publish the particulars when he finalizes the time, hotel and dates.
I’ve put a couple of photos on this page. Take a look at them if you wish.
Remember! Our meetings are BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle). Chapter XXXIII no longer furnishes the hard stuff. All alcohol beverages are the responsibility of each member. The Chapter will furnish the soft drinks and water.
See you at the Summer meeting in San Antonio, Texas in June or Fall meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee in October.
You can return to the meeting list by clicking on the icon on the left or view the photos from this meeting by clicking on the icon on the right. Either way, hope you enjoyed your stay with our January 2018 Winter meeting.