Association 2012 National Reunion.....
The 2012 Patrol Gunboat Association was held in Portland, Oregon.
The Red Lion Hotel, Jantzen Beach hosted our 2012 Patrol Gunboat Association Reunion from Wednesday, July 11 through Sunday, July 15, 2012. Our group rate was $99.00 for single, double, triple or quad rooms.
Our fifteenth reunion started on Wednesday with the hospitality room opening at noon and check in starting at 3:00. For Nancy and I the reunion really started on Tuesday with our arrival at the hotel. It took a while for the hotel to find all of the boxes we shipped, but eventually we were set up, the beer and soft drinks were cold, chips and pretzels were out and we were ready to start registration on time. As always, we had commemorative coffee mugs and a free gift for each member along with an opportunity to get a free ball cap with the purchase of raffle tickets. Once again Nancy ran her reunion special, 20 rafle tickets, 12 50-50 tickets and a free ball cap, and of course she agreed to fill out the tickets for each one taking advantage of the reunion special.
Thursday we headed out to see the sights on the City of Roses Tour. The tour included a stop at Portland's Vietnam Memorial, which was conceived by a group of Oregon Vietnam Veterans who were inspired by the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC in 1982. We stopped for lunch in the Nob Hill District, nicknamed in the 1880s by a grocer who likened the region to his native San Francisco. Our tour also included a visit the PT-658, a living memorial to the thousands of US Sailors who manned these tiny warships.
Last year we did a dinner cruise on the Pittsburgh Gateway Clipper. This year we enjoyed dinner at one of Portland's landmark restaurants, The Firehouse. The restaurant is committed to offering seasonable fare using sustainable fish, meats, and produce whenever possible. The building lends itself well to the style of cooking that they do. They use a wood-fired oven, rotisserie and grill that emphasize technique, seasonality, and a simple straight forward approach to food. At the Firehouse Restaurant, there are few things more beautiful than a well-prepared meal in a warm and inviting setting. The staff has worked hard to transform the old Firehouse 29 into a place that is for everyone. As a special surprise, at the end of dinner, Sheila and Charlie Moran advised the group that they would pick up the tab for drinks.
Early Friday morning we we headed out to visit the Columbia River Gorge and Multnomah Falls. Lunch was on our own during the tour. Following a stop at the Apple Valley Country Store and Bakery, we headed back to the hotel.
Friday evening was our traditional buffet dinner. Following dinner we had an open mike session for those who wish to make comments to the group.
Saturday morning we took a few minutes to discuss the future of the Association at our 2012 Patrol Gunboat Association Business Meeting. Topics included finances, membership issues and the date and location of the 2013 reunion. As a result of our discussions, I will be looking at Baton Rouge again as well as New Orleans. If I cannot come up with a workable package in Louisiana, I will be looking at the possibility of going to Boston too. At the moment I plan to look at the first two weeks of August, 2013 for our sixteenth reunion.
Those who attended the Buffalo or the Seattle reunion may remember the trip to the cemetery. We also did this at the Pittsburgh reunion. This year we visited Portland's Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Park. While we only had a few volunteers this year, those of us who went enjoyed the time while we placed flags on a small section of Veterans graves.
The bar opened at 6:00 and everyone was seated in the banquet room in time for us to start the opening ceremony promptly at 7:00. While we ate dinner, we drew the winning tickets for the 50-50 drawing. Following dinner we had the raffle table drawing for some really great prizes including free rooms at the 2013 reunion.
ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
Sunday morning many of us met for one last time in the hotel lobby to share hugs and promise to meet again at the next annual Patrol Gunboat Association reunion. The hospitality room closed at noon.
Updated by Terry W. McManuels
Copyright © 2006 PGRA. All rights reserved. Revised: 08/08/12.