There were so many great things about our New Orleans reunion that its hard to know where to start.
The kid in me wants to begin with recounting the tale of our encounter with a whole bunch of alligators during our Cajun Pride Swamp Tour.
It didn't take a Marlin Perkins to start picking them out as they were ghosting silently along out in the slow moving bayou that runs through the Manchac Swamp. They were good sized too - 6-7 feet if they were an inch, maybe more.
But we didn't come just for the natural wonders of Louisiana. We came to reunite with fellow Manchus and reunite we did. Yep, there was plenty of wildlife in New Orleans too, not just out in the bayous. Did I mention those 8-10 foot long alligators we saw?
We did it all, City tour, visit to the National World War II museum downtown, Oak Alley Plantation. Didn't see any of those 10-12 foot alligators we saw in the swamp down on Bourbon Street but there was wildlife there too.
We had a great turnout for this, our 21st reunion. The final count for dinner Saturday night was 228. The number was finalized even before I promised to show pictures of the 14-16 foot long alligators we saw in the Manchac. Evenwithout the reptiles those in attendance were treated to a special evening with the highlight being an a capella rendition of Halleluja by Alyssa Guidry, grand daughter of Johnny. Alyssa sang at our 2007 Memphis reunion. She was a show-stopper then as a 7 year old and she was a show-stopper this time 11 years later. Beauitiful.
Thank goodness none of those 20-foot long alligators we saw in the bayou showed up at the business meeting where we finalized details of reunions to come in the next two years. The membership also voted to return Alen Fyfe as Vice President, Dan McKinney as Treasure, Bob Lannon as Secretary and me, Larry James as President. We gratefully accepted the honor.
Sorry to report that plans to meet next year in Nashville fell through when we were unable to conclude an affordable hotel. Fortunately the hotel that hosted us in St. Louis a few years back stepped up and offered a much more appealing deal so mark you calendar for September 12-15 at the Sheraton Westport Plaza Hotel.
While I'm on the subject. The group also decided that 2020 will be the year we travel up to Golden Gopher land in Bloomington, Minnesota. Start warming up your credit card cause its liable to need to be in tip top shape when we encamp next door to the Mall of America. There'll be plenty else to see too for the less retail therapy oriented
See you in St. Louis
President 4/9 Infantry (Manchu) Association
+++note to editor. You may want to edit the above references to alligators. Those things had to be 25 feet long at least.