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In This issue...

Annual Membership Meeting:

President's Annual Report

Membership Report

Duty Officer Changes

Chief Weenies

New Board Member Terms and Elections

Charter Member Payback

Cross Country Training


Field Checkouts

Wave Camp

Excerpts from the Board Meeting

A Mother's View

Excerpts from December Board Meeting

Flight and Ground Handling Procedures

Sailplane Alteration Device

Maintenance Report Continued

Soaring Over the Auld Sod

Log This...

Back Issues:
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February, 1999

1999 Annual Meeting
Saturday, January 30, 1999, Warren County/Front Royal Airport

President's Annual Report
President Rees passed out the Club's 1998 financial statements (Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss 1997/98, Sales by Item, and Member List). He noted that the Club had an outstanding year in 1998, in spite of relatively poorer weather than 1997. The Club is in very good financial shape, in spite of several recent events that have had, and will have, a major impact on our expenses. For example, the Club recently spent over $22,000 in major repairs to the Club's towplane. When returned to service in a few days, it will have a factory overhauled engine, a new spinner, new shocks, new bungees, and most of a new paint job; it will be a much improved machine (with higher value) over what we flew in 1998. In addition, our recent move to FRR has resulted in roughly tripling our hangar costs, although our facilities are vastly improved in quality over what we have enjoyed at 8W2. We currently have about $28,000 in liquid assets on hand and with a significant accounts receivable because of the annual member dues coming in January.

The financial situation was such that the Board recently approved the purchase and installation of a Tost tow rope reel, which will produce a major improvement in the safety of our operations, and, we hope, in our turn around time. The Board also approved the payback of Charter loans for four members who have left the Club (Paul Dawson, Rob Leyendecker, Charles Ray, and Rich Matsko) plus an additional amount to be distributed among other Charter members with outstanding loans to the Club.

The big news in 1998 was, of course, the Club's move from 8W2 to FRR in December. The Board has been extremely busy in recent months negotiating hangar leases, discussing operational needs, and overseeing major maintenance issues. The move has been a complete success, due in no small part to the generous contributions of effort and leadership on the part of many Club members.

President Rees stressed the need for caution and heightened safety awareness at our new field. With increased power traffic and new take off and landing patterns, all pilots will need to be particularly careful until we get several flights in our log books.

President Rees singled out for recognition several Club members who have served the Club in 1998 in particularly commendable ways: Dave Brunner, who, in addition to making many improvements in the Club's electrical equipment, coordinated and managed the actual move of equipment to FRR; Serge Kohudic, who performed a highly professional job of revising the electrical wiring of the hangars to accommodate the remodeling which permits our ships to fit into them; Kevin Fleet, who oversaw and worked diligently to make the hangar modifications; Piet Barber and Richard Freytag who continued to not only maintain but to make significant improvements in the Club's website (which, in turn, continues to be the primary new member source for the Club); Bill Vickland for his outstanding and tireless efforts in maintaining and improving the overall quality of the Club's aircraft; Joe Parrish for his continued outstanding efforts in new member recruitment; Phil Jordan, for his professional management of the Club's monthly newsletter, "Skylines".

The Club also gave a standing ovation to member Bela Gogos, who in 1998 established, and endowed with $50,000, a Scholarship Program for young people. Bela reported on the success of the first several recipients of the Gogos Scholarships, and expressed his strong interest that some Virginia applicants compete for these coveted awards. (See article that follows.)

Membership Report
Joe Parrish reported that the Club's active membership at the end of 1998 stood at 57, up 7 (14%) for the year. The Club's membership continues to grow quite well, having increased in four out of the last five years, and now stands at an all time high. Without doubt, the Club's internet website continues to be "the" primary initial contact for new members, although the follow through provided by all members after the initial contact is believed to be the "clincher" that turns so many first contacts into enthusiastic new members. The importance of every member continuing to recognize his/her importance in representing the Club to any and all guests, visitors, and potential new members was very strongly stressed.

Joe also expressed his interest in passing the mantle of "New Member Weenie" on to another if there were members interesting in picking up where Joe has led us so far and taking us into the future.

Duty Officer Changes
Ralph Vawter reported on several changes planned for 1999 in the way the Club's Duty Officers operate. In 1998, the Board established a core cadre of 12 formally identified Duty Officers (other members without other specific duties, e.g., towpilots and instructors, were identified as Assistant Duty Officers). Members whose performance merited designation as a Duty Officer are then compensated with a free Tow Ticket for each day's duty served. This program has worked well to enhance the Club's performance, since the DO is the Club's key official responsible on a day-to-day basis for safety, operational efficiency, and financial income.

In 1999, the Board has determined to raise the standard a bit for Duty Officers, given our concern for the sharply increased responsibilities that DOs will have for our hangars (more complex operation and security; increased risk of hangar rash) and operations (higher traffic airport, new staging procedures, need for strengthened financial accountability). Therefore, in 1999, Duty Officers should: (1) CALL the Club's treasurer, Stacy Barber, at the end of each operational day and identify that day as one we flew and the identity of the Duty Officer (2) Complete the logsheet completely, clearly, and correctly. It's suggested that the Duty Officer transcribe the data onto a clean sheet, and keep the original as a confirmation copy. (3) Cash is discouraged as a medium for all members. If it is necessary to incur a cash transaction, it will be the responsibility of the Duty Officer to convert the cash to check of postal order promptly. (4) The completed packet must be postmarked no more than three business days after the day of operation.

The current cadre of 12 Duty Officers should consult with the Chief Duty Officer (Vawter) to provide further analysis and suggestions as to how to continue improvement in our activities.

Chief Weenies
President Rees confirmed the continued tenure of several Chief Weenies, including Joe Parrish for new member relations, Tony Bigbee as Rosterfuhrer, Dave Brunner for batteries, Bill Vickland for aircraft maintenance, Kevin Fleet for facilities, Spence Annear for towpilots, and Phil Jordan as Editor. The Board recently approved the appointment of Jim Kellett for flight instructors, and Bob Michael for operations.

New Board Member Terms and Elections
The Board had determined after long debate to recommend to the membership that Board members be elected for three year terms, and that Board membership be limited to six consecutive years beginning with 1999. It was the considered opinion of the Board that the Club had grown to the point that it needed to insure that the interests and perspectives of newer members were reflected in the Board's guidance, but that the Board's constitution maintain continuity through members with long and deep experience in Club management. To effect this, the Board proposed to elect, in 1999, two members for one year terms; two members for two year terms; and two members for three year terms. Beginning in 2000, two seats would be up for election each year for three year terms.

Hearing no objection, President Rees led a discussion to identify candidates for the various terms for 1999 and to provide an opportunity for those who might be considering Board membership to express their interest; Rees observed that he had discussed Linn Buel's interest with her, and John Ayers' desire to not serve another term.

After an understandably cavalier discussion, the following Board members were elected bythe full membership:

   Terms expiring in January, 2000: Joe Rees, Jim Kellett
   Terms expiring in January, 2001: Kevin Fleet, Ralph Vawter
   Terms expiring in January, 2002: Joe Parrish, Linn Buell

Charter Member Payback
The members expressed some reservations at the Board's decision to pay back several Charter Member loans incrementally. There followed an extensive discussion which concluded with President Rees' proposal that the Club (1) pay back those who had left the club at this time (Dawson, Matsko, Leyendecker, Ray); (2) develop a plan with the goal of paying back all Charter members by the end of calendar year 1999 PROVIDED that, at the end of September, 1999, the Club's liquid assets (excluding the Maintenance Fund) have never dropped below the amount required for that payback; and (3) by the end of the year, either (a) pay back all Charter members or (b) pay back as many as the minimum liquid asset balance for the year would permit with the recipients selected in priority of (i) any who may have left the Club and (ii) by lottery of those remaining.

It was the consensus of the membership to accept this proposal.

Cross Country Training
Jim Garrison expressed his willingness to teach another Cross Country Course in 1999 if there is interest among the members. He suggested that such a class should take place earlier in the year than in 1998 to avoid conflict with members vacations and to allow more of the season to be available to take advantage of the course. The membership expressed considerable enthusiasm for the course, and interested members are asked to contact Jim about scheduling.

Bill Vickland made a brief summary report on the maintenance issues affecting all Club ships, and sought the members? participation in some relatively routine maintenance actions such as changing the oil in the towplane. He will prepare written guidance to help members do this (and similar) routine maintenance activities.

Bill also reported on the 2-33's recover status, pointing out that it was possible that it could be returned to service as early as February 15, provided some assistance is possible on some critical areas. Bob Collier, for example, is working on refurbishing the plastic cockpit liners. Bill will post more specific requirements via e-mail shortly.

Field Checkouts
The K-21 should be returned to service February 8. Thus by mid-February, the Club will be in a position to begin new field/spring checkouts for members. The current plan is for the core operations group (Michael, Annear, Vawter, and Kellett) to test currently proposed operational procedures as soon as the towplane is returned; to then conduct a safety meeting for all flight operations personnel to brief everyone on new procedures; and to begin member checkouts. Weather permitting, some checkouts could be conducted before the end of February.

All members were urged to attend the spring safety meeting (date and time to be announced shortly) and to bear with the instructors and towpilots for the first few months of operations as the Club works to assure that the procedures are both safe and effective. Finally, all members were reminded to be particularly sensitive to our "new" neighbors, the other pilots in the FRR aviation community.

Wave Camp
Fred Bane, the FBO at Grant County Airport, is the primary host and organizer of this winter's wave camp at Petersburg, now scheduled for March 6-14. The Board felt that it was no longer necessary for the Club to assume responsibility for organizing or managing the camp, but that we should, as a Club and as members, support the Petersburg FBO in this effort. There was some concern as to whether the Club's best interests would be served by taking Club equipment to the camp (as opposed to being used for field checkouts here). It was the clear consensus of the membership that at least some Club equipment be transported to Petersburg so that members could experience flying at a different airport and/or in wave conditions.

Respectfully Submitted,-J. C. Kellett, Secretary

Excerpts from the Board Meeting, January 30
The newly elected Board members convened in the lounge of the Warren County/Front Royal airport on Saturday, January 30, 1999. Present were Joe Rees, Jim Kellett, Ralph Vawter, Linn Buell, and Kevin Fleet.

        The following officers of the Club were elected:
        President, Joe Rees
        Treasurer, Stacy Barber
        Secretary, Jim Kellett

Linn Buell suggested that the Board consider establishing an Audit Committee as standard business practice to review the Club's finances. The Board took the suggestion into consideration for action at a later meeting.

Ralph Vawter led a brief discussion about the new Duty Officer changes.

The Board accepted the proposal from member Norm Crump to return one-half of his initiation fee, corrected for any account balance he might have accrued in 1998, and his resignation.

The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 20, 1999.

A Mother's View by Linda Hiller
My son, the pilot. My 17-year-old, the glider pilot. My first born and only boy, the kid who flies airplanes (with out an engine, no less!) Phrases I never dreamed I'd say.

We do so much to protect our babies from danger, to pad their world and keep them from harm, and then one day they want to do something adventurous. Like fly a glider. What's a parent to do?

As a child, our son Blake always loved airplanes. He wasn't obsessed because he had so many interests, but flying, airplanes, birds-anything that could go "up there" was definitely an attraction for him.

He constantly flew toy airplanes around the house while making that funny motor noise all boys can make (it's something on the Y chromosome).

He loved to make paper airplanes for all the kids in the neighborhood who inevitably wound up at our house to play (none of the kids could make aerodynamic planes like he did). His paper airplanes constantly evolved and improved every time he learned a new morsel of aeronautics. Even at 17, he still gets ideas for a design and will fashion it into paper, adding a paperclip or one of his sister's bobby pins for balance. He often launches one of these "experimental aircraft" off the roof of our two-story house, which is located at 5,000 feet above sea level in the shadow of the picturesque Sierra Nevada.

It is because of this location that Blake had the good fortune to experience the joy of flying a glider during Christmas vacation, as the recipient of a Bela Gogos scholarship. This program is inspired and funded by Bela Gogos, a Hungarian immigrant, now an American citizen, who wanted to help young Americans discover what flying a glider can mean in their lives.

Young people from all over the United States are eligible to be Gogos Scholars-the first one came from Virginia-but scholarship winners will come to our Carson Valley in Northern Nevada for the instruction. This is because the location is widely accepted as one of the top glider flying locations in the world due to a unique geography and climate. Gogos scholars receive their instruction through SOAR Minden, a local glider business based at the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Though we have been known to have very harsh winters, last month the weather cooperated with Blake's dream to fly, and he soloed in 24 flights. On one of his solo flights, Blake flew over our Jacks Valley home and circled our house. There was my boy, a member of the Douglas High School Class of 2000, in control of a motorless aircraft which is dependent on the kindness of wind currents. We wondered if he will be dropping his dirty laundry this way when he's in college-it's possible to glide great distances, you know!

For all the times we'd wondered if we should let our precious son learn to fly, for every doubt we had about encouraging an activity that put him in a vulnerable situation (it was bad enough when he got his driver's license!), we have seen the payoff in becoming a pilot in his increased confidence and maturity.

Blake's primary instructor, Mike Moore of SOAR Minden, said our son "was the most natural pilot" he'd ever seen in all his many years of teaching people tofly. When we heard him say that, we were so proud, and it was at that point that we began to wonder if Blake's flying, receiving the Gogos scholarship, his living in beautiful Carson Valley, was by chance or by design.

Every person has special talents, I believe. Some people go through life and never discover those gifts, and for parents it's truly a gift and a dream to see your child find a natural niche and to be recognized by people such as the awesome staff at SOAR Minden-instructor Mike Moore and the other teachers, tow pilot Andrew McFall and everyone involved (passionately!) in flying gliders there.

Although it does feel a bit daunting to think that my little Big Wheels driver is man enough to handle the controls of a sailplane, it also feels amazing.

My son, the glider pilot. Yes, indeed.

In addition to being Blake's mom, Linda Hiller is an award-winning feature writer and reporter for the Record-Courier, which serves Douglas County, Nv. She also writes a weekly wildlife column "View from Jacks Valley," and has reported many times on the fact that glider pilots often look for large soaring birds to see where the thermals are. She plans to be among her son's first passengers and hopes to see an eagle eye to eye "up there."

Excerpts from the December Board Meeting
The Board meeting convened in the meeting room of the Front Royal Airport at 10:00 AM. Present were Board members Joe Rees, Joe Parrish, Kevin Fleet, Jim Kellett, and Ralph Vawter (absent was John Ayers); Board Member ex-officio Annear; Treasurer Stacy Barber; and Club members Piet Barber, Bob Downin, Dave Brunner, Richard Freytag, Linn Buell, and (for a portion of the meeting) Bill Vickland. Guests for part of the meeting included Warren County/Front Royal Airport Commission members George Hodgkiss and Charles Brown, and FBO Reggie Cassignol.

The Board asked that the Chief Towpilot (Annear) and Chief Flight Instructor (Kellett) quickly convene a towpilot/instructor safety/operations meeting for the purpose of actually flying (using the Sprite) the new patterns and experimenting with proposed launch and recovery procedures.

The status of the runway light switchbox was also discussed, and George Hodgkiss agreed to ask the contractor who was going to modify the VASI lights next week to examine it and provide an estimate for burying the box.

The Airport Commission felt that the "turf art" such as we had developed at 8W2 was not appropriate for a fully public airport.

Reggie Cassignol pointed out that there was a telephone outlet on the outside of the FBO building that the previous commercial glider operator had used to plug in a telephone. He also indicated that he was amenable to having an answering machine/telephone inside the building. Sufficient lines are already in place for the Club to purchase a telephone line; however, there are not telephone lines at or near our hangar. There was some discussion of the equipment capabilities that we would need which were not fully resolved.

The Board and the FBO and the Commission members discussed at length the appropriate kind of vehicles, and their use, in moving gliders around on the airport. The FBO has an electric golf cart that, with some repair, might be useful to both the Club and the FBO; Dave Brunner agreed to look at it and make an evaluation of the practicality of such repair. In the interim, there was general agreement that the Club could use an auto (such as the Honda Phil Jordan proposed to give the Club) for SOME movement around the airport, with extreme caution being exercised to avoid putting ruts in soft sod areas. A fully acceptable procedure has yet to be developed here, and further work on options is needed.

Flight and Ground Handling Procedures
The Board discussed with the Commission members present, and the FBO, the concerns of the State regarding the "runway" status of the sod area between the taxiway and the runway. Reggie proposed that the area be designated a "safety area". Gliders would be staged on that area and taxi onto the pavement during the initial takeoff roll; they would similarly taxi off the pavement on landing. The "safety area" would exist as an emergency area only. (This is very similar to the proposal that John Ayers had made.) Reggie also indicated that the airport would be willing to make one, or a few of the northside runway lights, removable to facilitate taxiing on and off the pavement during glider ops. The instructor/towpilot caucus will make some flights using this procedure as soon as possible.

The Board and the FBO agreed that the gliders would use right traffic for both runways, and that it would be acceptable for gliders to land midfield on runway 09.

The FBO also indicated his preference for the Club's flight ops station (awning) to be located near the Club parking area (near the fuel tank farm) during normal operations on runway 27. The purpose is to avoid people walking across the taxiway where frequently there are several aircraft doing runups.

Strategic Planning Committee
A committee consisting of Joe Parrish, Richard Freytag, Jim Garrison, and Gary Shepherd has agreed to research the Club's strategic planning and report back to the Board in three months.
-J. C. Kellett

Sailplane Alteration Device
This lovely object is a runway light (real exciting, isn't it?) Take my word for it-you really don't want to come into contact with one of these while operating an aircraft.

Kevin has been advised that the whole string of lights associated with our transition on and off the runway will be made removable.

We will need a work party (or two) to haul dirt for a better transition to the runway. There is about a 3 inch rise to overcome.

Kevin will have the details on when and how this will be dealt with. In the meantime, stay tuned to your e-mail.
-Bob Michael

Maintenance Report Continued
At the meeting, I indicated that it is possible that we could have the 2-33 flying by the 15th. That holds, but only if I get a little help on a few tasks.

  1. I need one or two people to wet the horizontal and vertical controls with 400 wet or dry paper. It is not a big task and if two volunteers tackle it together, the job can be done in an hour or so.
  2. I also need the same done to all of the metal pieces that are lying on the hangar floor.

Bob Collier has tackled the problem of fibre glasing the cockpit panels which I will paint when he is done.

All of this needs to be done by next Monday so I can paint everything during the following week. I would hope to assemble on the following Friday and have Charlie sign it off on Saturday Feb 12. It is a tight schedule, but it can be done.

I could use some general assistance during that week, such as assembling the ship and putting things together.

Note on the 2-33 Trim Lever
First the trim lever has stripped the little gears that permit you to set the stick pressure anywhere you want it. This is a $220 item from Schweizer. In discussing the cause of the problem with SAC, I am told that is stems from not releasing the stick pressure before depressing the release, hence the trim snaps to the next position with a high impact stop. The little dog ears are 1/4 by 1/4 and are made of steel, so it takes a lot of impact to break them. We will need to train all members to avoid further breakage.

Happy New year to all!
-Bill Vickland

Soaring Over The Auld Sod
I managed to time my visit to the UK with a period of high winds and rain. However I did manage to get some very interesting flights including a 35 minute ridge flight from a 1000 foot tow, a 12 minute flight from a 2000ft tow in a steady 30 knot wind and a flight in a Fox the current world standard fully aerobatic glider.

London Gliding club in Dunstable is one of the oldest clubs in the UK and was formed in the 1930s. They have there own airfield with a fleet of 5 K21, 2 K13, 4 K23 (glass single seaters), and a duo discuss. They also have various Cubs and a robin for towing and a six wire winch. However dues are $650 per year and rentals/tows cost in pounds what we pay in dollars (exchange rate $1.60 = 1 pound). Reciprocal members can gain temporary membership for 7 pounds per day and after a check flight fly any of the club equipment you are qualified for.

A 400 ft high, west facing ridge runs parallel to the field and on a good day you can cruise up and down at about 800 feet for about a mile. The field is set up for operations on a SW/NE run and E/W. On my ridge flying day we took off on the West run and landed on the South West run by flying out at 90 degrees from the ridge turning around and flying back on what was now the base leg. It felt pretty strange flying the ridge at 800 feet with about 6 other gliders. But it was great fun.

My next flight was on a day where we had a 30 knot wind straight down the SW runway. Needless to say this was with an instructor (who commented that my tow was the smoothest he had that day and wasn't sure if it was the superior piloting skills or the conditions had improved. I knew the answer but wasn't going to let on) We were finding ridge lift in unlikely places but unfortunately a lot of sink too so the flight was brief 12 minutes. I joined the down wind leg at about 900 feet, turned on base almost straight afterwards due to the tail wind and turned on final with hardly any height lost. Then with hardly any brake and a 70 knot approach we landed gently in the middle of the field. An excellent learning experience.

Talking of learning experiences, I was offered a flight in a Fox two seater aerobatic glider. I had just eaten lunch, so considered declining the offer, but only for about a second. After all when would I get this opportunity again. Apparently these are the aircraft of choice for the worlds best glider aerobatic pilots. I wanted to practice some spin recoveries and asked if we could try this. So we put on the parachutes and I climbed into the front seat. We towed out to 4000 feet with me flying the tow once we were off the ground. The tow was easy with the aircraft very responsive to the control inputs. Once off tow I did some clearing turns and then in a shallow left bank eased back on the stick and applied too much left rudder. At about 45 knots we suddenly found ourselves hurtling to the ground, I immediately recovered from the spin and was surprised at how sudden it had occurred. My instructor said lets try it again but this time let the spin develop. So the same over ruddered slow turn had me heading back to the ground with me itching to recover but the voice in the back saying wait. He wanted to show me the difference between a spin and a spiral dive and pointed out the fact that the speed wasn't dramatically increasing and that it would in a spiral dive. After what seemed like forever I recovered from the spin. It was easy to see why the classic too low, too slow and trying to turn the aircraft with the rudder causes the number of accidents it does. I handed over control to my instructor and he demonstrated a snap role and inverted flight back towards the airfield for an 80 knot approach while I concentrated real hard on not decorating the cockpit with my turkey burger lunch.

Everyone at London Gliding club was very welcoming and friendly. If you are ever in the UK it is well worth a visit.
-Gary Shepherd

Log this...

  • FLASH - This just in from our from our Remote Correspondent: John Lewis, a psychologist who appears otherwise sane, has agreed to be our Membership Weenie.
  • Joe Parrish, ex-Membership Weenie with new found time on his hands, has purchased what maybe one of the oldest LS-4's in the country (SN 4008, 1300 TT). Not to worry, this is one beautiful plane, in which Joe says he is looking forward to completing his Gold badge and on towards Diamond.
  • Dave Brunner (Skylines' Man of the Year), with his Associate Greg Ellis, has been performing another miracle restoration on 1-26,081. The rediscovery of a fiberglass nose cone has tempted the group to rename itself "The Half-Glass Syndicate".
  • Fred Bane would like to see us fly at the Petersburg Wave Camp in early March. He told me about the Fort Hill Motel (304)257-4717 which is a little less pricey than the Heritage. Also, he said the restaurant in the Heritage has changed names and is a little more plebian in its menu.
    -Spencer Annear
  • 1999 Women's Soaring Seminar
    The Tidewater Soaring Society is hosting the 1999 Women's Soaring Seminar, June 21-25. NASA's Langley Research Center is co-hosting the event. There will be visits to wind tunnels, fighter simulators, the Air & Space Museum at Hampton and a tour of an aircraft carrier flight deck. Our web page is linked to Skyline's web page so check out the details at: http://www.ddaccess.com/nhawkins/tss/

    We are looking for more gliders, especially two-seaters. Would your club being interested in participating and bringing a ship down? Happy Soaring-Ms Frauke Elber, Editor, Flypaper, TSS (elber@erols.com)

  • Our National Soaring Museum President reports:
    For the first time in many years, the Soaring Hall of Fame induction will be a stand alone event at the convention, followed by a reception ($15) with a cash bar so everyone can hobnob with the new and current Hall of Fame members (lots of famous folks here). The reception is sponsored by the National Soaring Museum, and I will be delighted to see you there or in our booth on the convention floor. (You may find me in the Vintage Sailplane Association booth as well). Don't miss it!
    -Linn Buell

  • Knoxville Koundtdown kontinued
    If you aren't headed to Knoxville for the Soaring Society's Annual Convention-YOU ARE MISSING THE OPPORTUNITY OF THE YEAR HERE!! Check out the website- http://www.ssa99program.org/ - and you'll find something there for every pilot!

    The pace quickens!! As of now, Jim and Pat Kellett, Joe Parrish, Shane Neitzey, Linn Buell, Gary Shepherd, Ed Lehr and wife, Malcolm Gardner, Richard Freytag and Rachel, Fred Winter, Bill Vickland, Dave Brunner, and Bob Michael are going! Plus Skyliners-in-exile Tim James and Lisa Sergent! Plus Friends-of-Skyline Jan Scott and Bev Orndorff!

    Better get on the bandwagon, here! Bill Vickland even has a couple of seats in his van available for carpooling!

    We MIGHT want to have a "home away from home" get together while we're there. I asked Bob and Lynn Davis if they had suggestions for restaurants where we might get a small group together (maybe in a small private room) for dinner one night, and here's what he said: "Thursday evening begins with the Ed Kilbourne and Charlie Spratt Show for free in the exhibit hall. On Friday the NSM reception, you pay $15 each for the hors d'ourves. Either evening has time for dinner….

    We suggest a "Riverview" from Calhoun's on the waterfront of the Tennessee River a la Ft. Loudon Lake. They have good ribs, a lean menu, and not so spicy steaks and chicken. They have a private room for from 30 to 200, otherwise they can group you downstairs. Not exactly quiet unless you get your own room.

    I suggested an old traditional restaurant, Regas. It's on north Gay Street, the original main street (i.e., long before the word's meaning changed). Their lounge is called "The Gathering Place." Lynne says it's a place that you would take your grandmother for her birthday. But the food is high quality! Regas is quiet.

    There is a micro brewery, The Great Southern Brewery, on Gay Street half way between the river and Regas. They have a room for a group just over the main entrance. The menu is tailored towards drinking beer.

    The fourth hotel downtown is the Raddison which has a better than usual restaurant for a hotel. Lynne doesn't like to eat in hotel restaurants, but our Sertoma Club eats there once a week and they have a nice variety."

    It sounds like there are a couple of places to do this if we want to, either night, after the "normal" festivities. I'm staying at the Days Inn on the UT campus, $53 a night, 7 blocks away, at (423) 521-5000. We'll get in late Wednesday afternoon. Give a holler/leave a message.
    - Jim Kellett