The 2013 5th Maintenance Battalion (DS) Nashville Reunion
The battalion reunion took place from September 4 through September 8. After a couple of minor glitches, all seemed to go pretty well. Jadz and I arrived in Nashville after an uneventful two hour flight from Boston. By chance we met Jim DeMello (HQ & Main Support) who was also waiting at the airport for the Holiday Inn shuttle. After a few minutes we were on our way. Jadz and I checked in then headed down to the lounge to meet those who had already arrived. After catching up with those we knew and meeting those who came for the first time, we all turned in, a few at a time. Thursday we spent some time in the meeting room then split up to do what we had on our individual agendas. Most of us met on broadway in front of Tootsies Orchid Lounge. David Litteral (Main Support) arranged for us to be given a history lesson on Tootsies by Larry Weakly, a direct descendant of Tootsie. After we were allowed to go inside even though it was closed for renovations. The walls were covered in pictures, old and new, of performers who passed through, It reads like a who's who of country music, The rear entry was directly across from the Old Ryman, the former venue of the Grand Ole Opry giving performers a quick route to a cold one. Pictures of our group were taken in front of Tootsie's.
At this time we broke up and the Hamblins, Uchniats and Chews found lunch at Jacks BBQ on Broadway. From there, Ken Deb Jadz and I took a guided tour of the Old Ryman.
On Friday Ken and I took a ride to Red Boiling Springs to visit Cyclemos Mmotorcycle museum. Aside from being just a museum they also restore vintage motorcycles. We were allowed to walk through their restoration shop where they had a few bikes in various stages of repair. There were mostly Harleys with a few Brit bikes mixed in.
While we were looking at bikes and old car parts at a swap meet, most of the group boarded the riverboat Gen Jackson for a lunch cruise.
Friday evening was our annual reunion banquet. What a turnout, finally everyone in the same place at the same time! As our reunions get larger, it's harder and harder to go anywhere as a group. David Litteral arranged for Keni Thomas, also a veteran to sing a few appropiate songs for us. Thanks Dave. A raffle for the last few years has been a part of our reunion was held with Richard and Jack calling out the winning numbers. Earlier, Jack was selling tickets to anyone and everyone in the group and some money was made for the 5th's association.
Saturday Jadz and I and a few others just hung out untill it was time for our Nite At The Opry Ken, Deb, Steve, Julie Jadz and I left the hotel for dinner at The Aquarium, a few steps away from the Opry. There were fish of all kinds swimming around the in aquarium. Tables were placed all around so no matter where you sat, there were fish. SO, Jadz and I thought it would be fitting to split a seafood platter.
After dinner, we walked the short distance to the Grand Ole Opry. I thought the show was great.I don't thing thre was a bad seat in the house. Although we all didn't sit togeather, most of us attended. Some of the preformers were Dina Carter, Jim Ed Brown, Sara Haze and Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers.
Sunday morning we found ourselves saying goodbye to old friends and a bunch of new ones. Ken Hamblin did a grat job setting up the hotel and banquet and it couldn't have gone better. Thanks also go to all the guys who took the time to look up old friends from their units and get them to come to the reunion. We had a great turnout!