Our host, “Driver Mac” McNeese did another outstanding job. The Elegante Hotel is an excellent venue which was very interested in our business and did a good job.
THANK YOU, DRIVER!
On Friday, thanks to the efforts of Tootsie Roll, Mary Jonas and our 80th Liaison Officer Lt. “Notch” Foote we had a live video hookup for a sing along with the JBC led by JL#108 Trip Raymond (of Dos Gringos fame) who sang a song he’d written especially for the program about the Squadron Mascot, “Woody” Juvat.
The National Museum of WWII Aviation was also a great venue. Our docent-led tour, while cut a bit short so we could get to the eating and drinking, was informative and awe-inspiring. Needless to say, Robbie Robbins was especially thrilled to see one particular P-38 that Westpac is restoring (wink, wink). The meal consisted of very heavy hors de oeuvres. Coupled with the free bar, it was a huge success.
At the banquet, Driver Mac (who is also your Association Historian) spoke about his efforts to catalogue and sort the thousands of pictures, memoirs and memorabilia we’ve accumulated over the last 40 or so years. He’s entered us into a mutually-beneficial relationship with the Museum which has agreed to store and display our Squadron history items. Good on you, Driver.
Led by “Hulio” Houle, the Saturday golf program went very well. While I’ve forgotten who won the tournament, I do remember that Saul Nova one of our WWII Lightning drivers won the prize for closest to the pin- proving that age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill every time.
I want to thank all who supported the Association by attending. Thanks to Driver Mac, Hulio and Tootsie for their hard work. I’d like to especially thank Dick and Mary Jonas who provided the music. That they can take time out of their very busy schedules to attend and perform for us says volumes about their level of support for the Headhunters- that they do it for free says even more!!
Now for the bad news: We were all a bit disappointed by the meager turnout. We had 27 out of 894 Headhunters attend. This reflects a trend that started about the same time as the number of WWII guys attending – due to age and health reasons- began to drop off. Jaybird and I have tried various ways of improving attendance- this last one being free drinks for the entire weekend- to little avail, it seems. Therefore, at the business meeting I proposed we go to a three-year reunion cycle starting after our 75th Anniversary Reunion to be held in Ft Worth, Texas in early May of 2017. The reasoning is: 1. that with fewer reunions, they may become more special, affordable and noteworthy than with the current eighteen-month cycle and more will attend; 2. I simply cannot ask so many volunteers to put in so much time and effort for such low attendance every eighteen months.
That being said, I heartily appreciated each and every of you who took the time and money to show up and support your Association. JUVAT!
I’m waiting for pictures, and will post them on the website as soon as I can. If you have any to share, please send them to me: HH01@80fsheadhunters.org
BUSINESS MEETING SUMMARY
R: 101 (registered and current annual dues payers)
Q: 147 (non-registered, non-current annual dues payers
894 – down 106 as of last COS reunion
Does not include 2015 reunion expenses
176 still mailed out: $826/year
901 postcards mailed: $482. (received 93 replies)
Display @ WWII aviation museum: $1862
$380 +/- cost per year
All public except for master roster and JBC sections
334 (annual and LTM) registered users
Postcards sent to all+ personal letters sent to each CO HH
27 HH (with wives and guests total 50) attended
8 of 42 of Colorado members attended. There are 151 members in AZ,CO,NM,UT
Previous reunion attendance:
2013 Chino: 40
2011 San Antone: 55+/-
2010 C Springs: 52
2008 Destin: 65
2007 Cowtown: 110
2005 Vegas: 90
2017 reunion 75th anniversary
Cowtown (Ft Worth)
Host: Butch Byrd
Then, the 3 year cycle starts.