The "Georgia Group" of the Prop Wash Gang gathered at Harford Field's mansion ( View From Deck) in Big Canoe on Friday, July 22d 2005. This was the second such gathering, the first having taken place in October 2003. As is normal with PWG gatherings, each one is better than the last one.
There were a few late arrivals due to heavy Friday traffic, but all were present in plenty of time for relaxing and cocktails prior to dinner which was held at the clubhouse overlooking Lake Sconti. The entire group was able to gather around one big table ( Dinner Table Photo #1 and Dinner_Table Photo #2 ) with a great view of Lake Sconti and the 1st hole of the golf course. After dinner, all climbed back up the mountain for dessert and further refreshments.
Those attending brought a variety of additions to Harford's already well-stocked bar. John Kinney arrived with an amazing array of imported beers, including some rare collector's brews from Belgium. I now regret not having taken any pictures of the beer bottles. John also brought what turned out to be the most distinctive single malt Scotch, a bottle of Springbank, "Campbelltown" which we compared with a 10-Year-Old Ardberg from Islay, a 12-Year-Old Glenmorangie from the Highlands and a 12-Year-Old Macallan, also from the Highlands. All the Scotches were memorable, but the SpringBank stood out with an explosion of floral notes accompained by an eye-opening "kick". I thought the Macallan was the most mellow of the bunch.
There were also some delicious wines, including a blockbuster Brown Lamartine 2002 Bordeaux, a suprisingly delicate and tasty Boutari Retsina compliments of Ernie and a distinctive Castle_Rock Pinot Noir from Carneros, CA, compliments of John Kinney. John also brought at least three humidors filled with vintage cigars. Too bad he lives in Macon, or I would be visiting John often!
Most of the weekend was spent on Harford's deck where wonderful stories were told, new friendships were made and old friendships were renewed. It was wonderful to see and talk with Walt Carswell, whom I had not seen in 30 years. John Kinney took a great shot of the entire group gathered on the deck. Other photos on the deck include: Ernie and Jon solving the world's problems, Soppy, Susan and the cigar smokers, John K. and Butch, Harford_and Ernie, Walter and Harford and the lovely Susan. With the help of plentiful refreshments, formalities went by the wayside. I was trying to get a photo of Harford puffing on a vintage cigar when Lora appeared between me and my subject. Immediately after the shutter snapped, I got a "Disk Full" message! Then next thing I see is Lora and Harford comparing the bottoms of each other's feet.
Before long it became completely dark ( Ernie at night ) and the stories became more detailed and elaborate. After a considerable amount of Scotch tasting and beer drinking, some members began spotting UFO's in the night sky. Walter brought out his six string guitar and entertained us with wonderful music including some vintage John Prine tunes. After even more Scotch, Jon brought out his guitar, but Butch took the show with his own rendition of Batthe Hymn Of The Republic.
Our "Grand Finale" came Sunday morning when Doris discovered a Mama Bear and two cubs on the deck. This is the view from the living room thru the sliding glass door to the deck. Mama Bear is about 10 feet away, getting into the bird feeder and the two cubs can be seen in the tree just beyond the deck. Here is a closer view of Mama_Bear and also a Closeup of one of the Cubs in the tree.
As with all other good things, GAG 2005 had to come to an end, so we spent a while saying Goodbye and Goodbye.
The rest of the GAG 2005 Photos are here. Thanks to John Kinney and Walt for burning their pics to CD and sending them to me in the mail. Thanks to Walt for the gift of so many good songbooks for the guitar. Thanks to Ernie for preparing a wonderful Greek Pita dinner on Saturday that I unfortunately did not get any pics of. Thanks to Harford and Doris for being such gracious and generous host and hostess.
It just doesn't get much better....
But it will!