Knoxville, Tennessee was honored once again to be the host city for our Fall Chapter meeting. The Best Western Plus motel was the location of our gathering. Art McRae had volunteered (get the double meaning here—Tennessee, Art, Volunteered?) to be the point of contact for the meeting. In plain English – Art was the guy who would be tossed under the bus in case something went wrong.
But not to worry. Art had the distinction of being the honor graduate of the Special Forces Survival from Under Bus course. The overriding subject of that school was “...take care of the big things and the little things will take care of themselves... ”. Honor Graduate Art made sure the big things were taken care of.
The Best Western Plus had set aside 25 rooms for ChapterXXXIII members. When the smoke cleared and the thunder of canon fire was silenced, we had 36 current members and three future members in the Hospitality Room. The chapter is setting a trend that will be hard to follow — The attendance has increased. We had 27 members in Monteagle…almost 40 in Knoxville. Beyond a doubt one of the best attended meetings we’ve ever had.
The majority of troops closed on the AO on Friday, 12 October. A few hardy souls decided to beat the crowd and arrived on 11 October. This brilliant maneuver allowed them to get an early start Friday at the local malls. The rest of the troops came in on Saturday. The Hospitality Room, which was designed to handle 55 people, was filled to overflowing with our 70+ members and guests. Our Burgermeister von Bad Toelz, Herr Robert Burke, was sulking in the corner all weekend because he wasn't in Germany. It seems his free room at the local Gasthaus was not available due to long-needed restorations.
Friday night was open and “On your own” as far as feeding yourself. Most of the troops remained in the Hospitality Room since our gracious host spread the tables with an assortment of meats, breads, fruits and vegetables. A few of the ladies brought vegetable soup, chili and German Apple-Cheesecake. Who would want to partake a so-so meal at one of the local restaurants when you had such a well-laid table?
Saturday arrived early (0001 hours to be exact) but no one elected to get up at such an early hour. The small breakfast area soon filled up by 0800 as the troops staggered down for the SOS, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, waffles and coffee.
The ladies gathered in the lobby, split into 5-women teams and exited the hotel for destinations unknown. They would return to the Hospitality room by noon for a gourmet lunch but would once again disappear for parts unknown when the business meeting started at 1300 hours.
The only urgent business decisions which required immediate action were the creation of the Nominating Committee, Scholarship Committee and Location of the next meeting. The Nominating Committee has the task of finding suitable members to run for Chapter officers for the next two years. The new slate of officers will be voted on during our Summer 2013 meeting and will be sworn in at the Fall meeting in Cleveland, Tennessee.
The Scholarship Committee will meet to verify and recommend those chapter member dependants who submit an application for scholarship funds.
Then came the most important item on the agenda...the location and dates of our next meeting.
Sid Morgan has volunteered (once again can you find the double meaning here?) to host the Winter meeting. He has decided, once again, to return to that beautiful mountain resort town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. And yes, the Park Vista hotel will be our home for the weekend of 25-27 January, 2013. I know! I know! There will be mumbles and grumbles about having a winter meeting in a location that is known for skiing and winter fun. There's always the possibility of some snow—okay maybe a lot of snow, but keep in mind, we've held three meetings in Gatlinburg in January and the roads have always been open and cleared of any snow. Besides, this time we will have a banquet room to use as our Hospitality room this time. If you are interested in finding more facts on this upcoming meeting, you can view the bulletin board here (you will have to use the “Back Key” on that page to return to this site). There is enough information on the Bulletin Board to allow you to mark your calendars. More information will be posted as Sid sends it in.
Saturday evening was open as far as eating was concerned. Some went out to the local restaurants and others stayed in the Hospitality room. Whichever decision was made for dining they had to be back in the Hospitality room by 1900 sharp. That was the start of the now famous Chapter XXXIII Auction.
And an Auction it was! Our world-famous Auctioneers, Stan Shank and Charlie Ponds, coerced, cajoled, pleaded, begged, bribed and threatened with bodily harm, the members to relieve the chapter of all the goodies present for the auction. They must have done a good job on the auction block…more than $1,300 was added to the Scholarship fund.
And so ended the Fall meeting. Sunday we paid our bills, said our good-byes and wished all a safe trip home. As usual I've added a few photos taken at our meeting in Knoxville.
See you in Gatlinburg, Tennessee the week-end of 25 January, 2013.
Copyright © 1994 Chapter XXXIII SFA. All rights Reserved.
Chapter XXXIII, SFA, The Larry Alan Thorne Special Forces Memorial Chapter
Fall Meeting was created 17 October 2012