October, 2013 we made our journey to Cleveland, Tennessee for the memorial to our Chapter namesake, Larry A. Thorne and the 58 members who have joined that great Jumpmaster in the Sky. It was also for the installation of new officers for the next two years. Once again, Le Chalet (Howard Johnson motel) was the site of our meeting. We have become a corner stone for this motel. Yes, Alice, we’ve been using Le Chalet as a home base since 1980. Over the years we’ve witnessed name changes, owners, and renovations. The Le Chalet was the site of our first official meeting as a chapter and it is only fitting we return at least every two years for a memorial to our name sake and those members who have passed on and to install our new chapter officers. And once again our members came out of the woodwork just to be part of an event that has never happened in this chapter before — the results of our election which contained multiple choices for offices. Are the members becoming more involved in the daily, mundane chores of running this chapter or what? The last 4-5 meetings we have exceeded our number for a quorum by a large margin.
President : Arthur C. McRae
Vice President : James W. Godwin
Secretary : Mitchell O. Greene
Treasurer : Harry M. MatthewsI'm sure all members of this chapter will join me in wishing these new Chapter Officers God's help in running this chapter for the next two years.
The troops started arriving at the AO on Friday. They tossed their gear in their rooms and adjourned to the Hospitality Room (also known as ‘Team Room’). Art and Mitch (the hosts of this gathering) had a spread fit for a king – okay, so maybe only for a prince. The gang made a frontal attack on the food and soon the only items left were the various types of chips and peanuts.
A few years back, the chapter decided to no longer furnish the drinks (except for soft drinks and water) to the members. It was ordained each member would brink his/her own special brew for the weekend. This has worked out really good for the most part. However, there are some members tapping the scotches, whiskeys, and vodkas of other members. This, of course, has not gone over well with those members whose bottles are being tapped. So far these incidents haven’t evolved into fisticuffs but it could explode into a hairy situation in the future — a word to the wise.
The big event on Saturday, other than making it to the Hospitality Room for a shot of the ‘ Dawg that Bit You’ was the meeting. Earlier Saturday morning, the Teller Committee met and counted the votes for the new officers. A few hours later these results were announced at the 1300 hour business meeting. Those new officers are listed above.
The Memorial/Installation dinner started at 1800 hours sharp. The new officers were sworn in by our very own barrister, Bert Bates. The troops and ladies moved along the buffet filling their plates with roast beef, chicken, good vegetables, home fries and desert.
As soon as the plates were cleared, Art McRae, our new Chapter President, started the memorial to our fallen comrades. As the names were called out, members had an opportunity to comment on that person. The memorial lasted a little longer than expected, but there were many members present who had personal tales about those departed souls and it was a pleasure to hear stories we've not heard before.
The memorial finished, the members and ladies retired to the Hospitality Room for the last few sips of scotch, wine, whiskey, vodka and cognac. Slowly, one by one, two by two or three by three, the Hospitality Room was vacated until only those really hardy souls who couldn't walk remained. It's not known, nor will they tell, if those hardy souls slept in the Hospitality Room or did they finally stagger off to their rooms.
As is the custom, Sunday morning found some slag-jawled, blood-shot eye, staggering members trying to use coffee to kill the after affects from the Dawg that Bit Them. Then it was off to those far-away reaches of our AO until our next meeting.
And when is this next meeting? Sid Morgan has given the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee a deal they couldn't refuse. The basics for this meeting are now on our Chapter Website Bulletin Board. Sid will give out an update to this information in the very near future. Right now you can block off your calendars for the weekend of 24-26 January 2014 for this meeting.
And so ended our Fall meeting. Thanks to Art and Mitch for a well-planned meeting. As usual I've added a few photos taken at our meeting in Cleveland.
See you in Gatlinburg, Tennessee the week-end of 24 January, 2014.
Copyright © 1994 Chapter XXXIII SFA. All rights Reserved.
Chapter XXXIII, SFA, The Larry Alan Thorne Special Forces Memorial Chapter
Fall Meeting was created 23 October 2013