Saturday, 26 April. Tours, Dinner and
General Meeting.Click to see photos
||Andersonville National Historic Site and POW Museum
|Callaway Gardens is world famous for both
horticulture and recreation. Callaway is an award-winning, 14,000-acre gardens, resort and
preserve nestled in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, in Pine
Mountain, Georgia. Callaway, a man-made landscape in a unique natural setting, was
conceived and created by Cason J. Callaway and his wife, Virginia Hand Callaway. The
purpose is to offer a wholesome family environment where all may find beauty, relaxation
Callaway Gardens is an outdoor, action-oriented location, with plenty of paved bicycle
trails, hiking trails, championship golf courses, tennis courts, and 13 fly-fishing lakes.
There's also the Callaway Discovery Center, Birds of Prey show, Butterfly Center, Mr.
Cason's Vegetable Garden, Overlook Garden and miles of nature trails that showcase the
beauty of nature.
Unfortunately the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center was closed for renovation and half
of the azaleas in the Azalea Bowl had just bloomed, but the gardens were quiet, peaceful
|The notorious Civil War prison camp now shares the POW
experience with the nation and the world. Andersonville, or Camp Sumter as it was
officially known, was the largest and most notorious Confederate military prison during
the Civil War. During the 14 months the prison existed, more than 45,000 Union soldiers
were confined here. Of these, almost 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation,
malnutrition, overcrowding, or exposure.
Today, Andersonville National Historic Site
also serves as a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation's
history. The 495-acre park consists of the historic prison site, the National Cemetery and
the National Prisoner of War Museum. This is truly hallowed ground, and an awesome
Our visit was made even more memorable by "local boy" Gus Allbritton (C Co.,
9/69-9/70) making a special trip from his property 80 miles away to share with us. He
escorted our bus in his Jeep through little seen parts of the park before saluting us off
to Americus, GA, for lunch at "the best food in the South"! It was !
|Dinner Officers' Open Mess
||General Meeting Officers' Open Mess
|At any reunion, much less at any one as
jam-packed with both old and new memories as this one, it's hard to pick one highlight out
of so many. As we assembled at the Officers Club for our final dinner together, the love
and care that people had put into their appearance, especially the ladies, was ample
evidence of the impact that this reunion had had on all of our lives. Let's just say that
the reunion itself was a highlight!
The final "formal" dinner and membership meeting tend to run together as a
single event, but I must admit that I saw them as two distinct activities. The dinner (and
the many photo shoots of Charlie Company, HHC, Delta, Bravo, Alpha and so on) took on a
life of its own - with conversation swirling around the room as friends drifted from one
table to another swopping stories, feelings, addresses, phone numbers and promises to stay
in touch. The poor barmaid was also overwhelmed, but not with emotion.
The O Club kitchen outdid itself with a brilliant hot peach cobbler (well, after all, we
were in Georgia), and we amicably settled down for the formal part of the evening.
|The meeting started with the election of
officers. The Association officers were reelected for an additional two year term by
acclamation. They include John Topper as President; Randolph Smith, Vice President: Gary
Quint, Secretary; Chuck McAleer, Treasurer; Toby Jordan, Chaplain; and Jim Sheppard,
Each officer gave a report, and Ray Sarlin gave a short presentation on the website. The
Association then presented John Topper with a plaque for his time and effort in producing
this fine reunion. Dotty and Jim Edwards were presented with a framed picture for the time
,effort, and the money that they and Seiples have saved the Association in printing and
mailing our newsletter.
The main business of the evening was the review and adoption of the Association's
Constitution and Bylaws. See MINUTES (PDF file)
A motion was made on the floor by John Nichols to have another pig roast next year, which
caught last year's host Bob Gold by surprise and paralyzed him until his wife smiled. Bob
tells us to look for more on this in coming newsletters.
|Raffles Officers' Open Mess
||Hospitality Marriott Courtyard Hospitality Room
|Now came time for the raffles. Bob Knightly won a 50/50
drawing for the amount of $535.00; Bob collected half and half went to the Association's
coffers. Dotty Edwards won a plaque which was donated and we collected $138.00 for the
Association. All the members received a free ticket for a multiple drawing. The first item
drawn was an Australian Royal Military College challenge coin donated by Ray and Marti
Sarlin's son 2LT Shane Sarlin, a recent graduate. Then the remaining numbers were drawn
for remaining batches and badges until all were gone. No one left empty handed.
||Upon leaving the O Club by bus, both busses took up a
generous collection for the drivers. They appreciated this nearly as much as we
appreciated the excellent job they did for us over four days in getting us around with
consistent friendliness and patience.
Upon returning to the hotel, we met in the hospitality room to have a few more beers, to
try to finish everything that had laid undone for over thirty years, and to say a few good