Fall Chapter Meeting – October 2009

Cleveland, Tennessee

16-18 October 2009

Per our normal Conduct of Operations, we returned to the Chalet in Cleveland, Tennessee for our fall meeting and the installations of the new officers. The hosts of this meeting were Art McRae and Jim Hash and they deserve a tip of the beret for an outstanding job. There were drinks and food and snacks galore to greet the incoming troops. The hot cheese dip and hot chili were welcome snacks in light of the cold and rainy weather.

Friday was a cold and rainy day and the Hospitality room reflected that. By 1800 hours (in the PM naturally) there were only about 10-12 people milling around. Dan Barnes was there in his new-found gray moustache and goatee. We hadn't seen the man in a few decades and I think he thought he could slip in unnoticed by the masses. It didn't work Dan! It did make him look distinguished and debonair though enough so that he could put Gary Grant to shame. Along towards 2000 hours the room started filling up and the troops were sampling the snacks and cakes. The main attraction was the chili (I believe Bonnie made) and the Cheese Fondue. Once the chili and fondue were gone the crowd thinned until there were only six hearty souls left. These six lasted until the wee, small hours of the morning. Everyone was snuggled warmly in their beds by 0230 hours.

In the natural sequence of events when Friday ends Saturday isn't far behind. People started staggering into the lobby of the Chalet to sip the coffee and maybe munch on a waffle or two and sip some more coffee before heading to the Hospitality room for some of the dog that bit them the night before. It was indeed a motley crew. Some of the members slept in and missed the breakfast and had to wait until noonish for the ladies to put the meats, cheeses, breads, butter and other condiments on the table. Then the “Come an’ get it!” echoed across the room and a mad dash was made for the tables. It didn't take long before all these goodies were devoured by the group. I guess missing the breakfast hour made them all the more hungry and they weren’t about the miss the lunch hour.

The business meeting commenced promptly at 1400 hours and was supposed to last until 1500 hours. However, events beyond our control occurred and we didn’t finish until closer to 1600 hours.

The normal stuff of getting the Secretary’s, Treasurer’s and VP’s reports went off without a hitch. There were three important items that had to be covered.

(1)- Art McRae has been wearing two hats for the last couple of meetings. He had been elected Vice-President but since the Secretary had resigned his office, Art also took over that position until a new Secretary could be found. Between a lot of arm-twisting and coercion from the Pres, VP and Treasurer, the job of Secretary is now being performed by none other than our own Mitch Greene. However, Mitch did not accept this office lying down. He wanted a new laptop and printer to be purchased by the chapter to be used by the secretary. I guess the PC he has at home with the 32-inch monitor just won't do. In any case, he got the laptop and the printer.

(2) - The chapter is getting out of the liquor business! This is the last meeting the chapter will furnish any alcoholic beverages for the Hospitality room. The liquor and beer the chapter currently has on hand will be moved from meeting to meeting until it is gone. For all future meetings and get-togethers, each individual will be responsible for furnishing his or her (and their guests) own spirits of choice. Bobby was away doing his thing in Bavaria so he hasn't gotten the word yet. And since he doesn’t own a computer he will have to wait until the newsletter comes out. For the time being the chapter will furnish the soft drinks and ice, but this may also end. As a result of the chapter getting out of the liquor business, the cost of the Hospitality room should drop to somewhere in the neighborhood of $5. This should cover the soft drinks, ice and snacks.

(3) - The next meetings:

So guys and gals. We have a for sure date and location of our next meeting. We also have a for sure location of the following meeting and tentative dates and locations the Summer and Fall meetings. This gives you a year to start thinking about your plans to attend. Gatlinburg is central for most members but it will be a long drive for most of us for the next three meetings. That's really how we had set this chapter up, to move from area to area. Our chapter AO covers a lot of states and as long as we can make the drives we should support those members who want to host a meeting.

The members and guests retired to the Hospitality room after the meeting for fun and games until the dinner at 1800 hours.

Dinner was a buffet with Prime Rib, vegetables, baked potato, salads and deserts. After dinner the new officers, Sid Morgan(President), Art McRae (Vice-President), Mitch Greene (Secretary) and Jim Hash (Treasurer) were sworn in by our barrister, Bert Bates.

Our special guests were Doris Pandzic, widow of Eck Pandzic and Kim (Dong Sook) Galloway, widow of Franklin Galloway. Doris was accompanied by her daughter, Mrs Kristy Hoilman and granddaughter. Kim was accompanied by her son, Rex Galloway. Mrs Galloway was escorted by Bert Bates while Jimmy Stewart escorted Mrs. Pandzic. President Sid Morgan presented a plaque to each of the two ladies as well with a letter from National.

After the presentation of plaques, Vice-President Art McRae read off the names of our departed members and Margie McDonald sounded a single bell chime as each name was called.

Members and guests retired to the Hospitality room after dinner for relaxation and fun and games. Our guests also joined us in the Hospitality room and they seemed to enjoy the company of our members.

And, like the Sun rising in the East and setting in the West, Sunday always follows Saturday. And, like that old preverbal sun, Sunday also marked the end of our meeting. All the cars and vans and trucks were loaded with the suitcases and goodies and the bills paid. It was time to say good-bye until next we meet in Gatlinburg in January 2010.

As usual I have created two photo galleries. The first gallery displays those photos (about 25 photos) that I think would be of interest to the members. The second gallery has the rest of the photos taken at the meeting and you may or may not wish to view any of them.

Hope you enjoyed your stay at the Chalet and that we'll see you in Gatlinburg for our Winter Meeting. Check the Chapter web site for any late info or changes to our Winter meeting.

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The Larry Alan Thorne Special Forces
Memorial Chapter XXXIII Fall Meeting
was created 22 October 2009