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Sept 10-13, 2018
By George Baker

   The hotel has just been changed over and is now owned by Sotheby’s, who did an $8 million renovation of the entire hotel, including all of the rooms. The hotel is right in the middleof the historic district within walking distance of the waterfront and all of the restored old homes. Here is the website for the hotel, if you want to see what I am saying about it:

     To make your reservations for the reunion, here is the website link...

or you can call them directly at 912-232-9000 and mention the Hugh Purvis Reunion to get an incredible rate of $129 per night. The three letter code is "HPR" for our rate. Note that the normal room rate is from $170 to $200. Parking is an additional $15 per night (which is half their normal rate).  Breakfast is not included, but there are plenty of places close by and one coffee shop within the hotel to grab your breakfast before our tours, and the number of restaurants within easy walking distance for dinner is huge!  I will include a link to a map of Savannah in the next newsletter showing you exactly where the hotel is located and many nearby restaurants.

    I think we have two great days of tours lined up for the reunion. We will start on Tuesday morning by walking across the street from the hotel to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The Cathedral is an iconic symbol of Savannah, Georgia, gracing the skyline, with its towering steeples. We will then board the famous Savannah Trolleys for a 90 minute overview of the city. This will be fully narrated and you may even encounter some “famous characters.” The tour will include one of the largest National Urban Historic Landmarked Districts in the United States. It will guide you through more than 270 years of American history. As you journey through our Historic District, you will ride along cobblestone-paved streets beneath moss-draped oaks and experience the “Old South” with her statelymansions, beautiful squares, romantic riverfront and abundance of artifacts.

    We will then head for the Georgia State Railroad Museum. It is believed to be the largest and most complete Antebellum railroad repair facility still in existence in the world!  Our group can walk along the grounds of the complex where actual Rolling Stock is on display and learn about the functions each building served. For over 100 years, the Savannah shops complex served as a major repair facility for the Central Railway of Georgia and was a vibrant part of Savannah’s industrial heritage. We will enjoy lunch on our own on River Street, with a wide variety of menu choices, and maybe a few minutes for shopping as well. Next we will head out to the low country where we will visit Georgia’s first plantation – Wormsloe, on which the eleventh generation still resides.  On our way out there, we will ride the bluff of the Isle of Hope, adorned with some of the most charming homes and breathtaking views of Georgia's marshes and waterways. The Wormsloe Plantation has a breathtaking avenue sheltered by live oaks and Spanish moss leading to the tabby ruins of  the colonial estate of Noble Jones (1702–1775). Jones was a humble carpenter who arrived in Georgia in 1733 with James Oglethorpe and the first group of settlers from England. Wormsloe's tabby ruin is the oldest standing structure in Savannah. We will then make our way back to the hotel for some relaxation and refreshments in our hospitality room.

    On the second day, we will begin by heading out to the National Museum of the Mighty 8th Air Force.  You ask why is the Navy going to the Air Force museum - well just wait till you see it. The Museum features over 90,000 square feet of exhibits, interactive displays, historical artifacts and a magnificent collection of aviation art. We will see a visually realistic mission experience, a world-renowned research center, the World War II B-17 Flying Fortress, and a combat gallery. We will hold our memorial service and place our wreath here in the beautiful Memorial Garden.  We will have our included lunch here before we head out to Bonaventure Cemetery. This iconic cemetery inspired the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Though not Savannah’s oldest cemetery, Bonaventure is certainly its most famous and hauntingly beautiful. Quintessentially Southern Gothic, it has captured the imaginations of writers, poets, naturalists, photographers and filmmakers for more than 150 years.  This also includes a walking tour to the bluff to see the graves of Johnny Mercer, Pulitzer Prize winner Conrad Aiken, Little Gracie, Savannah’s Shirley Temple, as well as learning of the symbolism of the many graves in the cemetery. Mustering up our strength, we will then head back to the hotel for our annual business meeting and our banquet.

 I hope this description of what is planned will entice you to attend.  It will be fun and you cannot imagine the feeling of seeing someone who you have not seen in 50 or more years when a new person attends. I also have another surprise for us at this reunion, but you will have to wait to read the next newsletter to see what is in store for you! 


2018 HPRA REUNION FORMS and Other Information

2018 HPRA Savannah Reunion Form

2018 HPRA Shirt/Hat Order Form

Forms are also in the JUNE 2018  2018 Newsletter

*** Reunion Schedule and Coordinators *** 
2018 -  Savannah, Ga. (Sept - George Baker)
 2019 - Central Ct. (June - Bob Ambrico)

Recap Links for previous reunions (2016 most recent)...

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