2017 Watts Bar After Action Report

Posted: 11/15/2017

Watts Bar After Action Report

The Fall come around on Watts Bar Lake was held from October 24 to October 28. We had 15 rigs with campers from as far away as Washington state and California. One attendee arrived after flying in from Israel that day. Those in attendance were Jann and Bart Dallamura ’54, Marie and Jim Roberts ’59, Gail Kelly and John Schultz ’59, Maryjane and Bob Metcalf ’61, Glenn Shindler ’64, Mari and Jerry McIlwain (LSU ’65), Patti and Jay Williams ’67, Su and Dale Gange ’70, Rose and Tom Wolfe ’70, Lynne and Jim Connors ’72, Vanessa and Tim Hallihan ’72, Susan and Don Baldwin ’74, Sandy and Scott Goodson ’76, Eileen and John Madaio ’77, and Scott ’78 and Pam ’80 Rodgers.

The kick off dinner provided by the firsties included pizzas and an ice cream dessert bar.  After dinner, the group gathered around a roaring campfire for joke telling. Jokes ranged from cute to ribald.

The next morning, our group was treated to a very hearty campsite breakfast by Jim and Marie Roberts and their crew of cooks and helpers. Following a brief board meeting and chapter business meeting, Jim Roberts was auctioneer for our annual auction. Somehow he managed to sell all the wares, and the treasury enjoyed a nice boost.  And we all enjoyed a lot of great laughs.  That night we joined together for a wonderful potluck dinner in spite of the chilly conditions in the pavilion.  Following that, we again gathered around a roaring campfire and enjoyed s’mores by the firsties.

Thursday the group carpooled up to the Cumberland Plateau for a buffet lunch at the state park (see attached photo.) No one walked away hungry, and the drive up was beautiful, with sunny weather and some fall colors up on the plateau.  From there we went to see the play “Sleepyhollow at the Cumberland Mountain Playhouse.  And upon return to the campsite, we had an impromptu campfire with songs, jokes, and more s’mores.

Friday, some of the intrepid spirits went out for a 3 hour tour (sound familiar?) on a very rough, choppy Watts Bar Lake.  Strong winds did not deter this group, although the white caps were high enough that one came over the bow.  The rest of the campers roamed about visiting the cheese factory, Mayfield Dairy, or other local sites.  At 3pm, Jim Roberts held shop with his Margaritaville Machine, and everyone enjoyed some wonderful drinks.  After that, we all carpooled to a nearby waterfront restaurant.  The daily special was a free dessert with an order of 2 dinners, so everyone had Brownie Towers, which were much too large for 2 people.  No one asked for s’mores that night.  But we did return to the campfire for more songs and jokes as well as a jar of moonshine provided by Jerry McIlwain.

Saturday morning brought heavy rains and cooling weather.  We were visited by Mary Glaeser, widow of one of our long standing members, Jack Glaeser.  We were all pleased to see her and to reminisce about past come-arounds that they had attended.  Finally in the early afternoon, the rains left the area as temps continued to drop.  At 5:30, everyone carpooled to the home of the firsties for chili cheese brats and nuclear stew plus lots of great desserts brought by the campers.  Finally, as sunset approached, out came the fireworks to celebrate the completion of our Chapter’s 100th come-around.  Scott Goodson fired his cannon to open the show with some loud blasts.  Then Jim Connors took over with dozens of ground pyrotechnics, including one that exploded on the board.  It later came back to life after being kicked away from the crowd, keeping everyone on their toes.  Once the ground show was complete, Jim moved over to the aerial show, with literally hundreds of various high altitude air bursts.  After about 90 minutes of blowing stuff up, a grand finale box with 500 grams of explosives (the most allowed by Homeland Security no less!) completed the show.  No one left disappointed in the send off for RV Chapter Come Around #100!

It was a great opportunity for a lot of new members to meet older members and for plans to be made for future come-arounds.  2/3 of the attendees at Watts Bar were new to this come-around, and most said they’d be back again next year.  Our weather was mostly good, although a bit chilly at night.  But that’s what the campfires are for, and we all enjoyed many a s’more, good joke, or old song around the fire. Our one day of rain was kind enough to clear out in time for the grand finale fireworks show.  We managed to eat and drink way too much, but everyone had a good time and by Sunday morning, our gang were for the most part back on the road for more adventures.

Firstie Jim and Lynne Connnors