Smoky Mountain Chapter 16 th Reunion and 5 th Fall Frolic

By Kelly Bowling

The Smoky Mountain Chapter (SMC) of the NCVA held its sixteenth reunion and fifth Fall Frolic in Charlotte, North Carolina 30 October through 1 November 2014. The event was graciously hosted by Pete and Pattie Moore and headquarters for the Frolic was Spring Hill Suites, Marriott, Charlotte Ballantyne.

This Frolic was another rousing success with lots of camaraderie and some wild sea stories. Twenty four folks attended and the host state of North Carolina was represented by ten attendees. Alabama had four attendees, Georgia and Tennessee three each. Kentucky and Florida anchored the totals column with two attendees each, with John (Gus) and Marge Gustafson representing Pensacola where almost everything connected to the NCVA happens!

A Host Certificate was presented to Pete and Pattie Moore for the excellent job of hosting and entertaining the attendees. The coveted Ol Jake Award was presented to John Peltier of Chandler, NC. If this award was based on a meter reading of one to ten, John's story of his escapades in Gitmo would rate a fifteen! All of his other adventures paled in comparison to the Gitmo tour!

Barbara Aldridge of Georgia won the 50/50 drawing and several drawings for beverages that could be consumed with meals produced winners Gus Gustafson, Jim Lindley (Alabama), Pat Bearrentine (Alabama), Bob Proctor (Tennessee), Bob Jesseau (North Carolina), Truthful John Peltier, and host Pete Moore. Hank Kershner (North Carolina) won a drawing of a very adult beverage and Ron Greene (North Carolina) purchased at auction something similar to Hank's beverage.

The refined side of the SMC was demonstrated by a beverage tasting ceremony. The ceremony is usually the most rewarding and humorous part of the evening. A slight variation to past tastings was put in place this year with tasters Joe Bearrentine (Alabama), Ron Greene, John Peltier, and John Odell (North Carolina). These veteran tasters, demonstrating several facial expressions and comments, decided that Hank Kershner's North Carolina product was worth the Gold Award, Jim Lindley's Alabama offering won the Silver and Dave Fiehtner's (Tennessee) Kentucky Peach won the Bronze.

Dave Fiehtner discussed the 2015 Albuquerque NCVA reunion, the Norfolk 2016 reunion, and the 2017 Nashville event that will be hosted by Joe Bearrentine, Pike Road, Alabama. He also announced the 2018 bids of San Diego and Denver.

John Odell will host the 2015 SMC Fall Frolic in Brevard, NC and has already begun putting together hotel information, tours available, dining establishments, etc. Great job, John! Follow the 2015 Frolic packages at http://smokymountainncva.com.