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Summer Chapter Meeting - July 2009

Gainesville, GA
24 - 26 July 2009

We returned to the Quality Inn and Suites in Gainesville, Georgia for our Summer Chapter meeting and Bennie and Margie McDonald did an outstanding job as host and Emcee for the weekend.

Members started arriving early on Friday, 24 July and as they moved into the Hospitality Room rumors started flying there would be only 14-15 members show up. When the final head count was taken on Saturday, we had twenty-four hearty souls present for the meeting.

Friday night started, as they normally do at these meetings, by members, spouses and guests munching on finger food and consuming large quantities of beer and other, more exotic and powerful, liquid spirits. Margie brought a pot of home-made Bar-B-Que and more than a couple of members (I won't name names here) made more than one trip to the serving bar to load their plates with another BBQ sandwich. There was more than enough finger food to satisfy an army. Still most of the group decided to partake the sights and sounds of Gainesville and visit the local eating establishments.

We must be getting old because somewhere around 2330 hours the only people left in the hospitality room were Duke, Jimmy Stewart and your faithful webmaster. Even Bobby Burke made a quick exit sometime around 2300. I guess he thought he was back in Knoxville and the bar was going to close at midnight. Not to worry, Bobby, no one turned into a pumpkin. One thing was sure, Bobby may not have had a restful nights sleep but this is the second time Bobby got one of the earliest nights sleep in a long, long, long time. Is this becoming a trend for him?

As one would expect, Friday night passed quietly into Saturday morning and most of the members arrived early at the Quality Inn and Suites complimentary breakfast. You might complain about the beer, the drive or what-not but you can't complain about the breakfast. There were eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage, fruit, muffins, pastries, waffles, juice and coffee. Not only that, you could go back for seconds, thirds and fourths if you so desired.

And once again, the ladies wasted no time eating seconds or thirds. They were out the door heading towards the MegaMall of Georgia or the smaller mall in Gainesville or the Outlet Mall in Dawsonville. Whichever mall they visited, they would be gone for the day.

The male members of this chapter were more relaxed as they sat around the tables sipping coffee and munching more of the goodies on the breakfast line. Eventually, however, the clean-up crew pushed us out the door and we made our way back to the Hospitality room to continue the conversations we were having when we were so rudely interrupted by the clean-up crew.

Our meeting started at 1400 hours in the Magnolia 1 room. Art was acting President since Sid was away on a training mission for eight weeks. We dispensed of the normal items we do at these meetings in quick fashion. Then came the most important items of the meeting—Where is the next meeting going to be held?

Everyone knew our Fall Meeting will be in Cleveland, Tennessee on 16-18 October 2009 at Le Chalet. Le Chalet is SOP when we install the new board of Officers for our Chapter. However, we also learned Art and Sid had contacted a hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our Winter Meeting in January 2010. Not only that, Bill Long volunteered for the Spring Meeting in Asheville, North Carolina sometime in April 2010. Are we on a roll or what?

Art pushed for a date for the Summer Meeting but it was decided we were getting too far in advance so we tabled the idea of the Summer Meeting until a later date. We will probably revisit this topic in January or, for sure, in April 2010.

There was no planned Chapter dinner so everyone went their separate ways for dinner. Those that remained in the Hospitality Room were treated to some very tasty pizzas, compliments of Duke. Thanks, Duke. The pizzas were just what we needed especially since we did find some good beer to go with them. I also noticed the four or five pizzas Duke donated to the chapter didn't last long. I think there were only a couple of pieces left after the first fifteen minutes or so.

The next event on the agenda was the Auction. It started earlier than usual and some of the members were still out to dinner when we kicked it off. Our usual team of Auctioneers Extraordinaire was missing one member. Charlie Ponds couldn't make the meeting so Stan Shank single-handedly took over the reins and for the next hour or so wheeled and dealed his way to raking in $1,000 for the scholarship fund. A tip of the Beret to Stan and all the members of this Chapter.

And, like the Sun rising in the East and setting in the West, Sunday always follows Saturday. I think it's a Law of Physics or some such thing. Anyway, Sunday morning rose out of the East and found most of the members in the restaurant munching the eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. The cars, vans and trucks had been packed and the bills for the rooms paid and now all we were doing is saying our good-byes until next we meet in Cleveland, Tennessee in October. Another fine Chapter Meeting has pasted into antiquity and we're planning for the next one.

I made about 70 movies of the photos taken during our past meetings and the photos Matt and Rose took. I put the movies on my laptop and had them playing Friday and Saturday in the Hospitality Room. I'm not too sure if anyone noticed them or not, but if anyone is interested in have a copy of them (they are on two discs), I gave Art the masters. Let him know and I'm sure he'll be more than happy to cut you a copy.

I also snapped a few photos of this meeting and you can view them at your leisure. You can also view the photos that were not used in the previous link. Hope you enjoyed your stay at the Quality Inn and Suites and that we'll see you in Cleveland for our Fall Meeting. Check the Chapter web site for any late info or changes to our Fall meeting.

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The Larry Alan Thorne Special Forces
Memorial Chapter XXXIII Summer Meeting
was created 27 July 2009