The 2005 "Maine Event" was a resounding success.

VP-1 POPS 2005 Reunion, "The Maine Event"

by Bill Johnson

On September 7, 2005, seventy-three loyal VP-1 POPS members, wives, and significant others gathered in the beautiful and quaint town of Bath, Maine to renew old friendships, retell sea-stories, and reminisce about the good times we had in VP-1 some 35 years ago. The Bath Holiday Inn, with a nautical theme in the public rooms, hosted the group. The General Manager of the Holiday Inn, Joe Byrnes, SKCM (Ret), and his staff provided excellent care for a hotel full of nothing but U.S. Navy guests. We shared the hotel with the Navy's Blue Angels who were in town for a weekend air-show at NAS Brunswick.

The weather and scenery in Maine was absolutely beautiful; sunny, cool days and crisp nights. Bath is a shipbuilding town on the Kennebec River where they have been building ships for over 400 years. Nearby towns that some visited were Bar Harbor, Boothbay, and Freeport for shopping at the huge L.L. Bean store. A Trolley was available for our tours and travel around the town.

An interesting variety of events kept us on the move, usually by trolley. We toured the Maine Maritime Museum -- a wonderful display of sea-going artifacts -- and an old shipyard where wooden sailing ships were built. We enjoyed a seafood (what else?) lunch at Spinney's in Popham, Maine followed by a boat ride up the Kennebec River back to Waterfront Park. The Kennebec River is huge; Navy ships built at the Bath Iron Works Shipyard are launched into the Kennebec. The golfers had their day on a beautiful course at the Bath Country Club. Many of us took the short drive to NAS Brunswick for the always spectacular Blue Angel's air-show.

Two All Hands dinners added to the festivities and fellowship. A chef-carved Roast Prime Rib of Beef and a stuffed Haddock dinner fed us one evening. The highlight of our dining was a Maine Lobster Bake complete with shell crackers and bibs. The Saturday evening dinner featured a Happy Hour before dinner and President Bill Johnson's comments. Bill then turned the microphone over to DR White who was our emcee for the evening. We recognized our fallen squadron mates, a Binnacle List of our ailing members, and read notes from members that could not attend. After dinner DR led a lively open microphone session where many members related their remembrances and stories of their VP-1 tour. Sunday morning, September 11, brought us a brunch buffet followed by our business meeting where Louis Tafoya was elected President, Bob Giddings as Vice-President, KB Sherman as Secretary, Dick Haglund as Treasurer, and Carson Hunt as Chaplain. Branson, MO, the "Veterans Capital of the World", was selected as the next reunion site. Captain Rob Winneg and family joined us for brunch and was our guest speaker. Captain Winneg was CO VP-1 in 1997 and addressed us at our Whidbey reunion. Captain Winneg had just departed his tour as CO NAS Brunswick and delivered a very interesting talk on today's VP and the BRAC recommendation to close NAS Brunswick.

Our thanks to Greg and Jane Pierce and Quen and Glenice Henderson for arranging a memorable reunion. We hope to see all of you in 2007 for the "Branson Bash".

The Minutes of the Meeting are presented below.