Reunion Highlights

JULY 4 - 7,  2008 - PORTLAND, OREGON

Scott's Follow-up Report on the Portland Reunion

The Portland Reunion is now in the books and it was a smashing success to those who attended.  It took place under a mixture of sunny and cloudy conditions in very pleasant temperatures.  There was a nice mix of people, most of whom being in the band in the 50's, 70's and 80's.  Everyone very much enjoyed the good company!

Bob and Linda Granzow made an extended trip from their home in Montana and arrived early in Portland.  They visited many places and found Portland to be a great city to visit.. Ray and Elaine McCallister did what David Lovine suggested for a tour and that was to explore the Shanghai tunnels of Old Portland, when three-masted ships came to port and were eager for unsuspecting young men to use aboard ship.  They said it was one of the best tours they had ever been on.

Friday, July 4

Their tour was the same day as the reception, July 4.  For that, Fred McCall and Ken Erion brought many photos and programs for members to enjoy.  One member who particularly enjoyed this activity was Doug Youra, who brought along his brothers Fritz and Garrett.  Bill and Diane Woodworth were off exploring the famous Rose Gardens, something Ken and Anne Winkle and Melvin and Doris Good , who know a good thing when they see it, also did.

The post-reception festivity was dinner at Jake's for most everyone, while Dan Rickard, the Granzows, and Scott and Carol Phoenix took in a Triple A baseball game and fireworks.  Fireworks of a most extended variety were shot off at the International Waterfront Blues Festival and Fred and Rosemary McCall, in particular, took in those.

Saturday, July 5

Saturday's breakfast and morning were on one's own , but Dan went with Carol and Scott to the 24-Hour Hotcake House for those stupendously good pancakes!  For anyone going to Portland in the future, this is a culinary experience NOT to be missed.  Carole Schaltter made a nice haul at Chico's and thoroughly enjoyed the shops of Pioneer Place.  She also took advantage of the hotel pool every chance she could!

We had a grand outing on a boat called the Willamette Star for a cruise lunch.  The food proved a big hit as did the passing scenery.  There was lots of shutter action by this camera and that to capture the sights.  The boat first headed upstream toward Oregon City, where the house of John McLaughlin, head of the Hudson's Bay Fur Company, built a house, then passed under various bridges for views of the Portland skyline and the Blues Festival.

Dinner that evening was preceded by photos of our group, captured by Bob Granzow, a very skilled photographer.  During the dessert portion of dinner, for which our group was presented with the largest slices of cheesecake the world has ever seen(!), we each took the microphone to tell this and that about our experiences.  Doug brought his two brothers and sister-in-law Janice, an accomplished musician, and Lou and Betty Driever brought their son Lou, Jr. and his two children, Megan and Morgan, and a friend of his daughter's Cory Copeland.  The younger people were treated to memories by us older coots.  Scott lead off followed by Dee Tonning, there with Bonnie, then Ken, there with Celia, and others followed:  Melvin, Bob, Lou, Doug, Ray, Ken, Dan, Bill, Dick Ernsting, there with Annette, Phil and Donna Jones, and just before Frank Schlatter, David Yoshioka, the latter having brought American Flag lapel pins and other items for the group.  It was very enjoyable listening to the accounts, which gave everyone there a chance to get to know each band member.  In particular, Fred (there with Rosemary) read selected parts of a letter he had written his parents just after one of the band's visits to Mons, Belgium.  His letter captured the magic of the experience of that wonderfully gracious and hospitable town and the essence of the band's diplomatic presence in Europe.  Following each person's address, Scott presented an etched glass mug, very kindly donated by George Masche, to each band member.  Scott and Bob took photos during the presentations and afterwards.

Sunday, July 6

Our very nice buffet breakfast was followed by a short business meeting.  Scott began by telling about the Portland reunion setup and why it was held July 4, saying that the main consideration was to hold the reunion when the best rates were possible.  There was a discussion about avoiding the July 4 weekend due to conflicts with members.  Frank presented an idea of contacting an outfit that caters to service related organizations  such as ours and said that he and Carole would be attending an informational meeting this September.  The suggestion was to hold the next reunion on the East Coast, possibly in the Virginia Beach area.  Scott suggested that we attempt to expand the dues-paying base of the organization because relatively few band members pay dues.  Ken Winkle proposed making personal contact with people we know do not pay dues.  We disbanded the meeting in order to take the tour of the Columbia Gorge, one of the vehicles being a van Ken Erion had reserved for the group.

The Gorge tour was, well, gorgeous!  We stopped first at an overlook where we could see the western part of the Gorge and a place called Vista House, which is perched atop a basalt cliff.  Scott gave a brief geologic explanation of the area stating that the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of Oregon has produced the multiple volcanoes of the Cascade Range, and that successive lava flows have provided the mountain range foundation.  He stated that the Missoula Flood, known also as the Bretz Floods (after the person who explained how parts of Washington and Oregon were reshaped by water forces) would have blasted their way at this narrow point at around 60 mph and at such a height that Vista Point, 700' above the current river, would have been buried under the flow!  We stopped at Vista Point for photos and souvenirs, then headed along the scenic Columbia Gorge Hwy. to Multnomah Falls for some more of the same.  Then we drove to the beautiful town of Hood River  for a grand lunch at the Full Sail Brewery.  The drive back was along the Washington side and just after crossing the river we were thrilled by spectacular views of Mt. Hood and the wind-board sailers on the river in what is perhaps the best place in the world for this sport.  We stopped at the Pendleton Woolen Mills store, where various people bought gorgeous woolen clothing , and then ended this grand day with a German dinner at the Berlin Inn, where we were joined by David Yoshioka.  Fred declared the food to be very authentic German!

Monday, July 7

Next up was a trip to Cannon Beach and Tillamook on the Oregon coast, about 1 1/2 hrs. (85miles) each way.  We first stopped at Ecola State Park, which is accessed by a beautiful but narrow and hilly road lined by ferns and other flora.  This spot proved particularly popular with our group with its stunning vistas of the rugged coastline.  Tillamook Head Lighthouse once had its windows shattered during a winter storm when the ocean heaved up a rock  120' above the waterline!  After taking photo after photo, we drove into Cannon Beach for lunch at Mo's, famous for its delicious clam chowder.  Afterwards, most everyone elected to stroll along the beach.  When we departed town, we drove along the coast and marveled at the views from Neakahnie Point, which is about 500' above the ocean.  Our last stop was at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, where we watched cheese being packaged  and Anne and Ken Winkle explained how cheese was made when they grew up.  Melvin Good declared the ice cream to be the best he ever had, and if you know Melvin, you can recognize a high complement when you hear one!

That was it for our trips and upon return to the hotel, we all said our goodbyes, sorry to see it all end.

Scott wants everyone who attended to know that he and Carol are very grateful to them for coming and making the reunion a success.  It made all the work worth the effort! 


A CD with photos of the Portland Reunion is available for only $10, including S&H.  Any amount in excess of actual costs will be put into the 33rd ABAA account.  Help support your association and enjoy shots of fellow bands people and families.  Checks should be made out to Scott Phoenix and sent to him at 1224 N. Pennington Dr. N., Newberg, OR 97132-1148


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