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2018 HPRA Reunion in Savannah GA. RECAP 
    By George Baker

     Savannah, what a true taste of the old South with all of its charm and its beauty! Our attendees were amazed by the beautiful hospitality room. What an incredible view overlooking the city from the 15th floor of the magnificent Savannah Desoto hotel. We could even see cargo ships passing through the city on the Savannah Riv-er. It was so great to see the friendly faces as they arrived and to catch up on what has been going on in every-one's lives over the course of the past year. The impending hurricane Flor-ence raised some havoc and concern for attendees and caused a few to can-cel their visit. As it turned out, Savannah never received any rain or wind from the hurricane and the airport was not affected at all, except for flights to areas that had been hit by the hurricane.

To start our tours, we were greeted by a pirate in the hotel lobby. He was quite a character! We then walked two blocks to the St. John Cathedral. It is the oldest cathedral in the USA. After a quick tour and talk by the do-cent, we boarded our trollies to head over to the railroad museum. What a great tour of this old facility and it was interesting to see how the old steam engines were built and main-tained. We then did an abbreviated city tour with a stop on by a couple of the characters who "lived" in Savan-nah. After lunch on River Street, we headed out to Wormsloe, the oldest plantation in Georgia! Finally, all worn out, we drove back to the hotel to visit the hospitality room and dinner at one of the many fine restau-rants in this beautiful city.

We took off early the next morning to visit the Mighty 8th Museum. What an incredible experience! We had our memorial service when we first ar-rived in their memorial garden, where they have the names of all 260,000 Mighty 8th who have given their lives for our country. Once again, we had a docent to guide us through the muse-um who was so knowledgeable about the museum and added so much to our visit. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the museum before we headed out to Bonaventure Cemetery. We walked through this beautiful cemetery with all of its oak trees with so much hang-ing moss that we felt we were stepping back in time. We enjoyed a visit with world famous songwriter, Johnny Mercer. He was quite the character who told us all about his life with all of its trials and tribulations!

We wearily headed back to the hotel for our annual business meeting, followed by a great banquet. We even had a piano player/singer who entertained us with many Johnny Mercer songs, such as "Moon River," "The Days of Wine and Roses," and "Summer Wind," while we had our cocktails and then our dinner. We ended the evening with our raffle of many great donated items and especially the beautiful quilt made by Pat Andrews! What made this one so special is that it was won by one of the two plank holders at the reunion - Larry Kettinger!

All in all it was a great trip. Everyone loved the city and the hotel and we are really looking forward to taking on Connecticut next June.

NOTES: Once again George did a great job in planning and running this reunion. The choice of the hotel in Sa-vannah was a good one with plenty of dining choices right in the neighborhood and easy access to other sites via a free local bus service. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The tours were quite enjoyable.

As we know from the business meeting, this was his last of many where he will do the planning. The By-Laws were changed and while George will still be involved as the Reunion Chairman, the position of Planner was creat-ed. From all we see, Bob Ambrico has stepped up and is doing a fine job for next year. Thank you George for all your HPRA service (and the navy also). Thank you Bob for your planning for 2019.

For a slide show of the 2019 plans, there is a link on the Hugh Purvis web page. For a direct link to the slide show on YouTube, go here…

2019 HPRA Reunion in Connecticut - June 27-29 - Slideshow on YouTube

(In the slideshow, the price is listed as $129.00. The actual price is $124.00 + tax.)
Names needed on pages 5-7 photos.

PHOTOS of the Jacksonville AREA (change for location)
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