All, Pursuant to directions from the Adjutant, I have made some preliminary inquiries regarding our proposed reunion at NAS Pensacola 29-31 January, 2009. The following is just an early report for y’all to be thinking about.
There are two possibilities for lodging on the base. The first is the lodging belonging to the Training Command. It is like a huge Holiday Inn surrounding The Conference Center. The room rates are $45. They have some DV suites collocated in older more classic buildings that are very large and go for $54. I am familiar with these and they would make a great hospitality/gathering area.
I told them we had a couple of 08s in our group and they have some kind of super DV quarters that probably resemble a French palace at $82. I haven’t been in any of these rooms for several years, but I understand they periodically remodel them. I asked the reservation clerk if they have been kept up and she proudly answered that “we are five star” (but I have no idea whose stars she’s talking about).
I will perform a recon and see for myself as soon as I can. I wondered about the possibility of the group wanting a conference room in case we had any kind of a program like a briefing from the CO of the MAD or maybe a room with a podium where everyone could take his turn bringing the rest of the group up to speed on what is going on in their life (which would cut way down on the 20 or so times 20 “what have you been up to?” conversations.
A room for the day of the right size for us at the Conference Center with all the equipment (and I believe a coffee mess) would cost $130 or less than $7 a piece if we had 20 attendees. If we did have a program of sorts, one of the DV suites would probably suffice for this.
Also, if it were the desire of the Det to hear from the CO of the MAD, we could probably go to the conference room at his place. Also, if we have a golf tournament and go to the museum, there wouldn’t be much time for a program.
Anyway, I am just trying to provoke thought and comments. The problem with this lodging is that, even though they would love to have us, they have a rule that reservations for folks not under orders cannot be made farther out than 10 days (recently reduced from 30). If the Det likes this lodging alternative, we could pursue getting the rule waived for such an august group.
The second possibility is the Navy Lodge. Y’all can go on line and check it out. It is a pretty nice place. I think George Braun has stayed there recently and can give us his assessment. They do not have any suites. A room with a queen (bed that is) is $62 – with two queens and a kitchenette it’s $75. They have no limit on how far out you can make reservations, but the reservation clerk said they cannot make reservations for 2010 until they receive the 2010 rates, which she doesn’t expect until December.
I am presently in the house up in Michigan. I will be back on the Gulf Coast next month. NAS Pensacola is about 90 miles from the Mississippi house and I will be in Pensacola several times this fall, so I can pursue, arrange, or tweak whatever the will of Det 4 maybe.
I just spoke with my intelligence operative over a secure line. He is a retired Navy 06 doctor who lives near the base. He tells me that the last time he ate at the "Club," he was very disappointed. But it still is in operation and is a bit of history itself. Since folks will rolling in at different times, and if we do stay on the base, I would suggest that we continue to plan to meet there and maybe eat bar food for Friday night.
We could go to nice restaurant Saturday night. There is a contemporary of ours who owns a Riverboat type upscale restaurant in the harbor. I have forgotten his name, but I think Larry knows him well. Anyway, my Navy Doc friend says that he has a friend who is a retired Marine 4 star zoomie (I think ACMC) who has recently settled in Pensacola. His call sign and nickname is "Spider." My friend says he saved the General's flying career doing something to his nose. He is going to tell the General about us and see if he can grease the skids for us.
That's all I have for now. More later.
You do good work. It is all good as far as I am concerned. Either way OK.
Sioebold and Hudon emails are bouncing, so if someone else has a good email for them, send it.
And the rest of you who have not responded should do so so that we know we have a live body at the other end, and so that we do not have to send the search party out.
And now would be a good time to track down any Det Marine that we have lost, and bring him or her back into the fold.