The AO for this Summer meeting was set up by our host, Art McRae. He chose the Best Western Plus as the site for the Safe House and clandestine meeting. This was a first time location but was near our past Safe House, the Jameson Inn. Art had reserved fifty rooms for this get-together, four of which were “Executive Suites”. These “Executive Suites” not only consisted of over-sized rooms with king-sized beds, but each had a jacuzzi and a walk-in closet. Talk about upscale and downtown!
Art had conceived the perfect training schedule for the weekend: Knoxville has an area in mid-town which is set aside for sidewalk dining, drinking and shopping. This was our planned event for Friday night. Art is famous for accomplishing many things, but only God can control the weather and Friday night He decided the in-town dining was not to be. He opened the sky and the area was plunged into a deluge. But not to worry, He promised the next time it would be fire and not water.
The troops had to be satisfied with spending the evening in the Hospitality Room, drinking, snacking and rehashing WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq1, Iraq2 and Afghanistan. By 0200 hours the battle-scared troops had evacuated the Hospitality Room for the more comfortable surroundings of their rooms.
Saturday dawned clear and cool. The troops gathered at the local feeding trough to munch on scrambled egg, sausage, bacon, biscuits, gravy, waffles, coffee and other goodies. The ladies then departed for the shops, malls and stores while the troops gathered in the Hospitality Room waiting in anticipation for the lunch hour. Wayne and Gina Naihe furnished the meats, cheeses and breads from Patak's Meat Market. Lunch was served from 1130 hours until the business meeting at 1300 hours. A tip of the beret to Wayne and Gina for setting up a fantastic luncheon.
The subjects, comments, actions and discussions covered at the meeting will not be noted here but will be part of the forth-coming newsletter put out by our new Secretary, Judy Hines. Suffice it to say, a lot of ground was covered.
Bert did breach an important subject. In the last few months the chapter has lost three members and the widow of Johnny Jones. Some of these individuals didn't have wills or other important documents needed at death. Bert stressed each member should have a will, a durable power of attorney and living will. Not only should each member/spouse have these three documents, Bert offered to help any chapter member create them free of charge. Now if that ain’t a deal I don't know what is! I mean “free” is nice.
The last items on the agenda were where to hold the next three meetings.
We always return to Cleveland, Tennessee in October for our fall meeting. The new chapter officers will be installed at this meeting. Bert Bates has agreed to host this meeting and will furnish the details as soon as he has them finalized.
Our President, Sid Morgan agreed to venture once again onto the snow-covered peaks of Gatlinburg, Tennessee for our Winter meeting sometime in January. Judy suggested since we used up the second and third week of January with wind and snow at two previous meetings, we should shoot for the last weekend of January. Sid will furnish the details.
The Spring meeting will be hosted by Judy Hines sometime in April in Madisonville, Kentucky. She’s not too sure which plays are on the calendar (if any) by the local thespians but she promised to check out the upcoming schedules.
The troops and spouses gathered in front of the Best Western Plus at 1630 hours. We boarded the bus for our trip to “Calhoun’s on the River” restaurant and an enjoyable dinning experience. Two problems with going via POV: “Calhoun’s on the River” has limited parking space and we would have lost most of the troops if we were to go in a convoy. The bus was the surest way to get everyone to the restaurant and was the best idea Art has had in a long, long time. Art outdid himself on this one.
After dinner we boarded the bus for our return trip to the hotel and the Hospitality Room and our auction. As usual our Auctioneer, Stan (The Man) Shank, did an outstanding job pushing the items across the table into the eagerly awaiting hands of the troops. When the smoke cleared and all the items were auctioned off, the Chapter's Scholarship fund was increased by $726.00. It might have been much less except one individual (who wishes to remain anonymous for tax purposes) jumped right up with a $100-bid for two Rembrandt paintings. I don't know exactly where he will hang these priceless paintings. I doubt if they will be safe hanging on the wall of his abode.
Sunday, as always happens, is a time for good-byes, farewells and adios’s. We had a great turnout. Probably the best we've had in a long, long time. Everyone can return to their home bases knowing the chapter had once again set a new standard for chapter meetings. Art and Brigitte deserve a rousting round of applause for the effort they put into this meeting.
Mark your calendar to reserve the months of October,2011, January, 2012 and April, 2012. We’ll be going to Cleveland, Tennessee, Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Madisonville, Kentucky. As soon as I receive the agendas from Bert, Sid and Judy, I’ll post them on the Chapter Bulletin Board. Until then stay safe. We need you at the next meetings.
And like always, there were photos galore taken and some of these are attached for your viewing pleasure.
“Say Good-night, Gracie.”
Copyright © 1994 Chapter XXXIII SFA. All rights Reserved.
The Larry Alan Thorne Special Forces Memorial Chapter XXXIII
Summer Meeting was created 19 July 2011