July 31 – August 4, 2008
1st row: Karl Nease, John McGauley, Al Gebauer, Bob Hoover, Garnett Howard
2nd row: Glenn Cope, Jim Dettling, Paul Pickett, Al Boorman, George Burke
1st row: Helen Cope, Ellen Hoover, Lois Morgan, Ann Gebauer, Mary Ann McGauley
2nd row: Barbara Boorman, Lelia Howard, Gay Burke
The 2008 reunion was held in Braintree, MA near Boston from July 31st through August 4th. A total of 36 people attended including 10 crew members.
On Thursday at the welcome dinner, everyone enjoyed meeting each other again and meeting new people who attended. As usual the hospitality suite was a hopping place and Bingo couldn’t wait to be played. Raffle tickets were sold for a Lone Sailor statue. Lois Morgan’s daughter Jill quilted a beautiful wall hanging to be sold at a silent auction. She also made two other wall hangings.
Friday was tour day starting with Boston’s famous Duck Tour. During the tour, the group stopped at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (pronounced Maaaaket in a Bostonian accent) for lunch. After lunch it was time to visit the USS Constitution. Moored next to the USS Constitution was the destroyer USS Cassin Young which some people enjoyed visiting while others visited the USS Constitution Museum. After a long day it was back to the hotel where people recouperated while waiting for more Bingo prizes.
Saturday and Sunday during the day was free to do whatever people chose to do.
Saturday night started with a meeting to discuss the future of the HOLT reunions. Everybody was in favor of continuing the reunions. There was no doubt one person could not replace Bill Morgan, so if reunions would be held, volunteers would be needed to hold them along with other people helping out with various aspects of the reunion.
It was suggested since the reunion numbers were getting smaller, the reunions should be held once a year instead, and they be held in the location where the person volunteering to organize the reunion lived. This would make it much easier to organize the reunion. Debbie and Jerry Hightower volunteered to hold the 2009 reunion in Chattanooga, TN and they had brochures of the area to show people they have already started looking into what is there. The group agreed it would be a nice central location where hopefully more crew members would be able to attend.
Jerry Hightower volunteered to be the newsletter coordinator but he needs everybody to provide him with articles and stories for the newsletter.
After the meeting, Jeff Cope got all the crew members in a roundtable discussion of topics he briefly heard but never had a full story to include in the USS HOLT book. Jerry Hightower videotaped the discussion. The crew members and onlookers seemed to enjoy the discussion.
People went to dinner and Bingo again was held with many more prizes given out.
The banquet dinner was held Sunday night. It was suggested at the previous night’s meeting the banquet dinners dress code should be business casual, so attendees can leave their suits and long dresses at home for future reunions. Before the dinner, Jerry Hightower took professional-quality photos of all families that attended. After a delicous dinner, some awards were handed out. The main organizers of the 2008 reunion, Debbie Hightower and Sandy Johnson-Oliver, were given thank you gifts. Jeff Cope was given a Lone Sailor statue as a thank you for writing the book about the USS HOLT. He joked asking what would happen if he won the soon-to-be raffled Lone Sailor statue. The raffle for the Lone Sailor statue was then held and wouldn’t you know it, Jeff Cope had the winning ticket. There was one more quilted wall hanging remaining to be raffled and Jeff was given the choice of either, but chose to let others in the group win something.
The night ended and another successful reunion was completed. See everybody next year in Chattanooga!